The first cookbook I ever owned was given to me as a birthday gift from my grandparents. I received it on January 3, 1984, and I still have it. In fact, I still use it. The cookbook title is Easy Basics for Good Cooking and I’ve always found the title to be true. The same recipes that felt accessible to me as a child are continuing to serve me well all these years later.
Shortly after receiving Easy Basics for Good Cooking, my best friend Heather and I used the Fettuccine Verde recipe in the book to cook a special meal for our parents. It turned out well and I remember the two of us feeling very proud of our accomplishment. I don’t know if it stems from that moment of satisfaction, but I still frequently use that recipe as one of my “go to meals” when I have dinner guests. Over the years, I’ve tweaked the forgiving recipe in many ways. I’ll often up the nutritional content by adding a variety of sautéed vegetables or add some protein with roasted chicken. Because I have to worry about things I didn’t consider in 1984, I always cut the amount of butter and replace the heavy cream with half and half. Of course, now I am fortunate to have a great variety of Talley Vineyards wines accessible so I can choose the perfect pairing. (I always go with a Chardonnay but, full disclosure, Chardonnay tends to be my top choice no matter the scenario!)
Here’s the recipe for anyone who’d like to give this easy basic a try:
Following package directions, cook fresh or dried noodles in a large kettle of boiling salted water until al dente; then drain.
While noodles are cooking, melt butter in a wide frying pan over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add cream and boil rapidly until slightly thickened and large shiny bubbles form (about 2 minutes). Add hot drained noodles to pan and toss gently. Add ½ cup of the cheese and toss until noodles are evenly coated. Add another ½ cup cheese and salt and pepper to taste; toss again. Sprinkle nutmeg over the top just before serving. Makes 4 servings. Pairs beautifully with Oliver’s Vineyard Chardonnay!