Gluten and Dairy Free Crab and Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

IMG_1594Alfredo is always something that has held a special place in my heart. Though it is not a recipe that I learned from my family, it’s still something that I ate often during childhood.

Anytime we went out to eat, I would beg to go to an Italian restaurant just so I could get Fettuccine Alfredo. Some people like mac and cheese, but I prefer Fettuccine Alfredo. The combination of salty sweet that the cheeses make is delicious and I think it really is an Italian comfort food.

I have the same amount of love for seafood as I do for Fettuccine Alfredo, so crab and shrimp just make the experience all the more better. As usual, I didn’t make my friends a separate sauce, so when they said, “If you hadn’t told me it was gluten and dairy free, I never would have known,” I knew it was a home run.

If you’re not into seafood, just leave that part out and you’ll enjoy a delicious Fettuccine Alfredo.

Ingredients (this makes enough for about 1 & 1/2 pounds):

  • 1 cup of dairy free butter
  • 6 small to medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups of original almond milk
  • 2 Tb of cornstarch, mix with 1 T warm water right before use
  • 1 compressed cup of daiya mozzarella style shreds
  • 1 cup of Go Veggie! grated parmesan style topping (break the lumps)
  • 1 pound of shrimp, uncooked
  • 2, 6-oz cans of crab, drained
  • 1 & 1/2 pounds of gluten free fettuccine, cooked al dente
  • Additional pinch of parsley for garnish

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, but don’t let the garlic brown.IMG_1590

Add the parsley. Let cook another minute.

Add milk to the pan. Once mixture starts to bubble, add the cornstarch/water mixture and whisk continuously for two minutes.

Add both cups of cheese to pan, continuing to whisk so that it becomes an eveIMG_1591n, smooth mixture.* (It may get a little stringy for a bit, but it will smooth out!)

Once your mixture starts to bubble again, add the shrimp** and the crab. Stir the sauce every 30 seconds until the shrimp have become nice and pink. This can take anywhere from 8 to 14 minutes depending on how hot your sauce is, so watch for the pink in the shrimp.

Once the shrimp have turned pink all the way around, your Alfredo sauce is ready! Mix with the fettuccine and sprinkle with some fresh parsley for garnish. Mangia!

*If you don’t want to add the seafood, let the sauce bubble for five minutes while stirring and then your Alfredo is ready!

**If you are using cooked shrimp, first add the crab to the sauce and let bubble for five minutes while stirring. Then add shrimp until heated through and you’re done!

Sunday Sauce

DSC_1059Pasta, macaroni, spaghetti-whatever you call it-I don’t have a memory that doesn’t include it. Pasta was, and still is, a large part of my life. Growing up, we ate pasta on Sundays and Thursdays. It’s what we did. Twice a week. Every week. A habit that not even a gluten allergy can break.

I call it Sunday sauce, because regardless if we were eating at our house or my Nonni and Pap’s on a Sunday, Sunday’s pasta always had a delicious, simmered on the stove all day, red sauce on it. The kind of sauce that cooked on the stove for hours, filling the whole house with a delicious, intoxicating smell. The kind of sauce that I used to get chased out of the kitchen for for “tasting” once an hour while it was cooking. The kind of sauce that gets three kids running to the family dinner table on a Sunday night to recap the weekend before a busy week.

Sunday sauce has been in our family for years. My Nonni is Sicilian and232323232-fp93232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv;596=ot-232;=68-=3-8=XROQDF-27747--826247ot1lsi I would guess that if you tasted her Sunday sauce and compared it with another Sicilian’s sauce, they’d probably have a pretty similar taste. It’s classic and simple.

After watching my mom and Nonni make sauce for years, sometime in college I decided it was time for me to learn as well. One of the most important things that I learned is that infusion is the key step to any good sauce. You take your garlic, basil, parsley, onion and meat, and you let it infuse the olive oil with a delicious flavor before you even think about adding any tomato into that saucepan. Try not infusing it one time and you’ll taste the difference.

One thing I do a little differently than both my mom and Nonni, is that I use bone marrow for my meat base whenever it is available at the deli. Beef bone marrow, after simmering in the sauce for hours, creates a buttery, smooth flavor that is unlike any other. My mom uses ground beef and my Nonni uses pork ribs or pork butt. They all work great, but some of my best batches of sauce have come from a bone marrow base.

Below is my recipe for Sunday Sauce that comes from generations of practice, lots of children happily fed and amazing times spent around the family table. Remember that you can use any meat for a base and if the harvest is overflowing at the end of the summer, you can also use zucchini as your “base meat” and get just as delicious of a flavor.
If you go that route, just make sure to add a little fennel to your veggie mix-it’ll give it a bold flavor and help bring out the other spices.

Sunday Sauce Recipe:

  • 1 and a half small onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a good swirl of olive oil (probably 2T)
  • 2 three-inch pieces of bone marrow or a 1/2 pound of pork ribs or ground beef
  • handful of chopped parsley
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 29 oz (big can) tomato sauce
  • 1 29 oz (big can) tomato puree
  • 1 28 oz (big can) diced tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz (big can) crushed tomatoes
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of oregano

In a large sauce pot, heat up your swirl of olive oil on medium/low heat. Add garlic, onion and meat and simmer for about five minutes until the onions are translucent. Don’t forget that this is when the infusion really takes place, so make sure those flavors have time to sink in!

Add the parsley and basil. Let cook another five minutes.

Add sauce, crushed tomatoes, puree, and diced tomatoes and stir really well. Add salt, pepper and oregano. Stir well again. Reduce to low heat.

Let sauce simmer for at least three hours on a low heat. This sauce doesn’t use any sugar because simmering it all day on the stove will remove the acidic taste from the sauce. Stir about every half hour to 45 minutes to keep the flavors infusing.

Then, you’re all done!