Woof. This past month has FLOWN by. I absolutely meant to share details from my Friendsgiving celebration and my favorite recipe for turkey and wild rice soup to use up your leftovers, but time got away from me. I’ve been super busy between both jobs and preparing for Christmas, I’ve been sick for a couple of weeks and by the time I was finally able to even think about writing up those posts….
It was last week. So, onward.
It’s literally three days before Christmas and I still have a ton to do, but I wanted to share this recipe because it’s part of my favorite tradition on my favorite day of the year, plus it’s a super quick meal. In less than twenty minutes you’ll be sitting down in front of your favorite Christmas movie and waiting for Santa to squeeze his big butt down your chimney.
As much as I love the Christmas holiday and spending time with my family on Christmas Day, the time I have to myself on Christmas Eve is just as precious to me. The past few years I’ve spent Christmas Eve day finishing up everything I need for the next day; making dessert to take to mom’s and wrapping the last of the gifts and putting them under the tree (for the cats, you know). But when the evening comes, it’s my time to relax, enjoy a glass of wine by light of the Christmas tree, watch a few of my favorite holiday classics, and dig in to this pasta.
As a matter of fact, the idea for this dish came directly from one of the movies I watch every year – The Holiday. It’s a (slightly cheesy) Nancy Meyers movie with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black, and Jude Law (😍). In it, Kate Winslet’s character offers to make “Christmas Fettuccine” for Jack Black, and honestly, what could be better on Christmas Eve than a bowl of creamy, decadent pasta?
Nothing. Nothing is the answer. So let’s jump in.
What you’ll need: Fettuccine noodles (I bought fresh to cut down on time, but regular dried is fine), pancetta, heavy cream, butter, grated parmesan, garlic, shallot, and fresh parsley didn’t make it in the photo. Side note: the only pancetta I could find on this day was sliced, but if you can find a packaged of diced pancetta use that, or you can get a thick slice from the deli counter and dice it yourself.
While waiting for a large pot of water to boil, dice a large shallot and finely mince two cloves of garlic. Dice pancetta if necessary. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent. Add pancetta to the pan and allow to brown slightly. Add the minced garlic to the pan and sauté for a minute or two, until fragrant, but avoid letting it burn. (Remove the pan from the heat as necessary to avoid burning)
Salt water and boil pasta – if using fresh, it should only take about three to four minutes. If you’re using dry pasta, you might want to wait to make your sauce until the pasta is almost done cooking.
Seriously, this goes quickly.
Drain pasta and rest. Add the cream to the pan with the shallots and pancetta. Stir and allow to thicken for a few seconds.
Toss the pasta in the sauce, and add in the grated parmesan. Season (lightly) with salt and (heavily) with fresh cracked pepper.
Top with minced fresh parsley and a little more grated parmesan and serve.
A big bowl full of Christmas Fettuccine, a nice crisp Riesling, accompanied by The Holiday and Love Actually. Now that’s a perfect Christmas Eve.
Oh, I guess these jerks could hang out too.
- 1 package (9oz) fresh fettuccine pasta (use half a pound of dry pasta)
- 1 large shallot
- 2 oz. diced pancetta (depending on availability)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tb unsalted butter
- Half pint heavy cream
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 2 Tb fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
Dice shallot finely, mince garlic and parsley. Dice pancetta if needed. Boil water for pasta, and cook pasta according to package directions.
Melt butter over medium heat in a large pan. Add shallot to pan and sauté for a few minutes until translucent. Add pancetta to pan and allow to brown. Add garlic and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant but don’t brown. Add cream and grated cheese to the pan, and toss in cooked pasta. Toss until entirely coated with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with fresh parsley and a sprinkle of grated cheese on top.
Enjoy. Merry Christmas everyone!