When I was making this I didn’t intend to put much of a ‘homemade’ effort into it. I brought a ready made jar of creamy cheese pasta sauce; unexpectedly it was very bland like eating the white sauce of a lasagna without the tomato puree to accompany it. I ended up experimenting with ingredients that I already had at home to try and perk up the taste of the store brought sauce. I wanted to make it cheeser, and didn’t have any fresh or dried parmesan to hand. The only cheese based thing I had was a caesar salad dressing: a tablespoon of this definitely added a tangy vingar element to the sauce rather than just supplying a cheese substitute. Alfredo typically has a peppery kick to it, so of course I added black pepper, but also a little honey mustard. The mustard provided a peppery flavour: milded slightly by the sweetness of honey. At this point I thought I was over doing it with trying to save this sauce, though somehow it turned out to be one of the best pasta dishes I’ve made yet. Even my critical about food boyfriend complemented me. See. Not so dumb after all!
- Cheese pasta sauce
- Parmesan or caesar salad dressing if the sauce isn’t cheesy enough
- Honey mustard or honey and mustard separately
- Black pepper
- Vegetable stock powder
- Basil (fresh or dried for garnishing)
- Tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are more convenient)
- 1 garlic clove
- Half a white onion
- Chicken breast*
*proteins are optional depending on you dietary requirements, Alfredo usually contains these so I just added them for sustaining some authenticity to the recipe despite it’s adaptions.
- Cut some fresh or thawed chicken breast into equally sized chunks.
- In a little splash of olive oil or water, stir fry the chicken and/or prawns with some finely chopped garlic on a high heat.
- Once no pink parts of the chicken are visable, lower the heat and add the onions. You can dice them into small pieces or strips.
- When the onions are golden brown add the sliced tomatoes and 3-4 tablespoons of water. Meanwhile boil the tagliatelle in a seperate saucepan.
- Sprinkle some salt, black pepper and vegetable stock powder into the pan/wok with the chicken, prawns and vegetables. Stir well.
- Add enough of the cheese pasta sauce to cover all the ingredients, along with one tablespoon of honey mustard or half a tablespoon of honey and half a tablespoon of mustard if you are going to use them individually. Stir well once again.
- If the pasta sauce isn’t cheesy enough now is the time to adjust the taste with parmesan or caesar salad dressing.
- By now the pasta should have completely cooked. Drain the tagliatelle and add it to the chicken and other ingredients. Coat the pasta well with the sauce.
- Garnish with dried or fresh basil leaves.
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