Pasta dishes are versatile and there are many different recipes for them. Most people think of pasta as being simple but if you spruce it up a bit, it can be a romantic meal for 2. And the ingredients are very basic but the flavors are bold. Whenever I am in a romantic mood, a good pasta dinner will suffice. I made spaghetti and meatballs for our anniversary last year. Although our anniversary is not for another 2 months (3 years!), I decided to whip up something special for hubby because I felt like it. Plus a pasta dish combines simplicity with elegance and that is what I like most about this dish. You can save a lot more money making a romantic restaurant quality meal for 2 from the comfort of your own kitchen. Its not that I prefer not to eat out. Even cooks like me need a break from the kitchen every now and then. But why spend twice as much on a dish you can easily make? Plus a home-cooked meal is more romantic and intimate.
There are many variations to fettuccine dishes. A lot of them are heavy with butter and cream making them heaven on the palate but hell on the scale and on your arteries I used a bit of polyunsaturated non-dairy butter and low fat milk for my Alfredo sauce. It may not be the same as to what you are accustomed to but its a great healthier alternative. I added cherry tomatoes but you can use 4-5 plum tomatoes. Or you can use other vegetables such as mushrooms,zucchini,onions, etc. I prefer my pasta dishes to have a bit of veggies in them. This pasta serves well with a glass of red wine or champagne. If you want to go all the way out, a romantic dinner needs some wine and candles 🙂
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1/2 pound dry fettuccine pasta
- 3-4 tablespoons of unsalted polyunsaturated butter
- 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pound of cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup of low fat milk
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper for taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Lay them out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with a bit of salt,pepper,and oregano. Roast for 20 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil and drop in your fettuccine. When the fettuccine is al dente (cooked, but still a little firm) lift it out of the pot with tongs and move the pasta to the saute pan. Do not completely drain the pasta. You want it dripping wet with some of the cooking water. Turn on the heat under the saute pan to medium and swirl the pasta,milk and butter together to combine. Add the cheese, then swirl and toss the pasta until it has incorporated into the sauce. Toss in tomatoes,chopped basil,nutmeg and garlic powder.If needed, add a few spoonfuls more of the pasta cooking water. Add more cheese if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with 2 fresh basil leaves.
Yields 2-4 servings.