When it comes to big old comforting bowls of pasta, nothing fits the bill quite like fettuccine noodles do, so it’s no surprise that it’s loved by families and pasta connoisseurs all over the world. Whether with alfredo sauce or simply flavored with a twist of zucchini and lemon, fettuccine is a delicious dish that offers plenty of versatility, including the way that it can be cooked.
Though nothing beats an evening meal at your local Italian restaurant, sometimes you just want to be able to enjoy your favorite food in the comfort of your home, especially during the busy work week when you don’t have time to go out to dinner.
Now, as fettuccine is first and foremost a pasta dish, it’s traditionally made in the same way that all types of pasta are - with all-purpose flour, eggs, and some elbow grease (unless you’re lucky enough to own a pasta-making machine, that is!). While it is indeed possible to make fettuccine noodles in a cast iron skillet, prior to the actual cooking, you should first think about whether or not you want to use dried pasta or make it fresh, as this will affect the way that you cook them.
Generally speaking, many people choose to use dry pasta due to their convenience, however, we recommend considering the idea of making your own pasta fresh. We know you’ve likely already heard this before, but fresh pasta is simply delicious and offers a springy yet soft texture that will be able to not only hold flavor better, but enhance it with a buttery twist, too.
Not only that, but to go alongside your fettuccine noodles, you’re going to also need to make the alfredo sauce and, fortunately for you, we’re going to show you how to make a restaurant-worthy pasta dish - and all you’re going to need is a handful of ingredients and your cast iron skillet! Cooking apron at the ready? Read on for the recipe:
1. Make the pasta:
Before you can grab your cast iron skillet, first you’re going to need to have some pasta to put in it! So, whenever you’re ready, grab some all-purpose flour and pour it into a mound-like shape on top of your clean countertop, making sure that it has been sifted prior to pouring. For the best results, try to create a pyramid-like shape (this is just to offer you a visual aid - when pouring make sure that the base of flour is wider at the bottom than it is on the top). You’re likely going to need around 4 cups of flour to do this, so make sure that you are stocked up with enough!
Then, make a little hole inside the middle of the mound and proceed to crack five eggs directly into the center, yolk and all. After all the eggs have been added, take a fork and begin to beat the eggs in the same way you would while preparing a cake mixture. After a few moments, you should begin to notice that the flower and eggs are starting to combine together and, soon enough, you’ll have to switch over to hand kneading. You’ll know when the right time to do this will be, as the dough mixture will become too thick to whisk.
Knead all of the dough together until it has become smooth and totally mixed, and then allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. After allowing this, you can then roll the dough into thin sheets and then proceed to cut the sheets into fettuccine noodle shapes! One and a half-inch strips are the ideal sizes as they can swell in the skillet.
2. Heat water in your cast iron skillet and boil pasta:
Start by pouring some water into your cast iron skillet and allowing it to heat up. Then, slowly begin to add your fettuccine pasta strips, allowing them to boil. Traditionally, many people choose to boil their pasta while also preparing a sauce in a separate skillet but, seeing as we’re only using the cast iron skillet for both, we’re going to follow a slightly different method - but the pasta will still taste just as good!
So, while the pasta is boiling in the skillet, you can go ahead and start preparing the ingredients ready for your sauce. We recommend creating the standard fettuccine sauce that combines lemon, garlic, and zucchini, although feel free to get creative with it and alter the sauce recipe as you see fit.
3. Set pasta aside and make the sauce in your cast iron skillet:
After giving your fettuccine pasta time to cook and preparing the main ingredients of your sauce, it will now be time to taste test the pasta. If it’s all cooked, then you can remove it from the skillet (use a drainer to get rid of excess water) and then set it aside. Immediately after doing this, proceed to rid the skillet of any water, as this could interfere with the sauce.
Take a small cup of olive oil and coat it in the base of the skillet, as this will help to prevent sticking while also enhancing the flavor. Add all of the sauce’s ingredients to the pan and frequently stir and flip them around so they evenly cook, adding the chopped zucchini last. Feel free to add salt, pepper, and even parsley.
4. Mix it all together and enjoy!
When you feel the ingredients have cooked, turn the heat down to a low-medium temperature and add the cooked fettuccine pasta. Then, pour in a cup of creamy ricotta cheese (or an alternative cheese sauce) and mix it all together until the pasta looks creamy and tasty. Then, transfer the pasta from your cast iron skillet to your bowl and enjoy!
As a side note, when it’s time to clean up, make sure that you thoroughly wash your pan, as iron cast skillets can be prone to building up a black residue of carbon particles (caused by leftover food and oil) over time.