Virginia Fettuccine Alfredo
- SERVINGS: 10
The Virginia in the title refers to the Virginia ham Patrick O'Connell uses in the recipe. You could substitute any country ham or 1/2 pound of smoked ham.
- 2 pounds dried fettuccine
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 pound country ham, thinly sliced and cut into thin strips
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 pounds Swiss chard, stems reserved for another use, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large shallots, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (3 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons snipped chives
- Cook the fettuccine in a large stockpot of boiling salted water until al dente.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add in the country ham, stirring to separate the strips; add the nutmeg.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil over moderately high heat. Add the Swiss chard leaves by the handful and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Drain the fettuccine and return it to the pot. Add the ham, cream, Swiss chard and Parmesan cheese and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large warmed bowl. Sprinkle with the chives and serve at once.
A mostly dry, floral and spicy wine, such as Gewürztraminer, would provide the contrast this rich dish needs.