Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fake It Fettuccine

As someone who is known as "cheesefiend" in certain corners of the interwebs, this next revelation might come as quite a shock...

I don't do white cream sauces. 

{Fun Party Trick --> Drop that little tidbit into a male-dominated conversation.  Just watching them trying to stifle the that's-what-she-saids is entertainment in and of itself.}

No alfredo sauce.  No sour cream.  No cottage cheese.  No Bearnaise sauce.  No ranch dressing.  No Hollandaise.  No mayo (never, never, never, never, you cannot pay me enough to eat or even handle mayonnaise - VILE).

Thank Gawd a benevolent Spanish stranger once ordered a plate of spaghetti carbonara and force-fed a bite to me, because otherwise I'd be living a life devoid of heavenly, bacon-y meaning  (although, technically, carbonara's creaminess comes from egg and pasta water... LOOP HOLE!).

Anyhoo, with my one culinary aversion and Evs' slight lactose intolerance, there's not many recipes that turn up on our laps in front of the TV dinning room table looking like this...

But, whilst flipping through my trusty Everyday Food: Fresh Food Fast cookbook on Sunday, I spied Martha's version of the following recipe.  I was intrigued by the combination of two of my favorite flavors - stone-ground mustard and goat cheese - and my interests further piqued at the relatively small amount of goat cheese required.  A few modifications later (namely, the addition of the chicken) and... Viola!  A creamy-ish dish that I can stomach consistency-wise and that Evs' can stomach... um, stomach-wise!  

Faux-Creamy Mustard Fettuccine with Chicken, Asparagus, & Dill*
*Adapted from Everyday Food: Fresh Food Fast

  • Olive oil 
  • 1 shallot - finely chopped 
  • 1 lb. boneless / skinless chicken breasts (I used tenders so they would cook quicker)
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth 
  • 3/4 lb. fettuccine (I use whole wheat for a nuttier flavor)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced in half horizontally, then cut into thirds 
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 2 T. stone ground mustard 
  • 2 T. fresh dill, snipped with kitchen scissors 
  • 1/2 c. pine nuts 
  • salt / pepper / red pepper flakes to taste 

Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat.  Add shallots, sauteing for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.  Add chicken, searing for about a minute on each side.  Liberally salt and pepper chicken.  Pour broth over chicken and reduce heat to medium-low.  Allow chicken to simmer in the broth until meat is cooked through (the majority, if not all, of the broth should be absorbed / evaporated at this point).  Transfer chicken to a plate and shred with two forks. 

Meanwhile, in a large pot, cook pasta al dente according to the package instructions.  With 5 minutes cooking time left on the pasta, add the asparagus to the pasta water.  Drain pasta and asparagus, reserving 1 cup of the water.  

Return pasta, asparagus, and chicken back to the pasta pot.  Stir in goat cheese, mustard, pine nuts, and dill.  Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes according to taste.  Allow dish to "rest" for 10 minutes before serving.  



  1. I really thought I was the only one that didn't do white cream sauces! Thank god that's not the case. I will have to try this recipe. It looks delicious.

  2. I hate cream sauces too!!!

  3. Aaand now I'm hungry approximately 2 seconds after lunch. Looks delicious!

  4. I also do not do white cream sauces and I also get the same snickers when I say it to other people.

    Just reading all those white creamy sauces made me gag a bit. ICK!

  5. OK, I do like mayo--but only in limited quantities--as in, I must control how much goes on my sandwhich and even then I end up taking like 95% off with a paper towel anyway. Wasteful? Yep. Maybe I just need something to get the bread semi mushy? Hm. I shall experiment.

    ANYWAYS. Can I tell you how happy I am that someone else out there doesn't like sour cream? I detest sour cream and have a panic attack if it somehow ends up on my nachos or taco salad, etc. Sour cream and cottage cheese are from the devil. In my personal opinion, of course.

    PS. I am however, drooling. Must.make.this.pasta.soon!!

  6. look delicious- thanks for sharing! i am one of the weirdos out there who loves white cream sauce, mayo, sour cream and the like, so anything remotely white and creamy is good in my book! i can't wait to try this one- i'm intrigued by the mustard and goat cheese combo!

  7. It sounds amazing! Anything with goat cheese automatically ends up in my pile of potential recipes. I add it to everything! I cannot wait to taste the goat cheese/mustard combo. Yum!

  8. So I know this will disappoint many - but what would you recommend as a substitute to the goat cheese? I don't care for cream sauces but I can handle them in small quantities...however I cannot handle even a speck of goat cheese in my food. Just the thought makes my stomach turn at all the tanginess. Your recipe sounds great though – I just need a good soft cheese replacement that would work with the mustard.

  9. I don't like cream sauces or sour cream either. I am always nervous at burrito places b/c they are so quick to plop that sour cream on.

  10. Yum, this sounds delicious! I'll definitely have to add this to my recipe file, because I'm a sucker for anything with goat cheese!

  11. I am totally going to make this tonight!

  12. That sounds delish! Did it taste like goat cheese though? My husband won't eat it if it does, but if I can sneak it in...he doesn't have to know!


happy little comments!