Here’s a report from my lovely fellow film archivist, and neighbour across the back lawn, Corinna. She made Fettuccini Alfredo à la Robert Vaughn for myself and my ex Vic and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DELICIOUS. The test cook report she sent over really made me laugh, and it’s great to look back on this summer evening when the “Cedar Court Three” all got together at her place, as I sit here shivering in bed in the bleak mid-winter with a busted radiator.
Over to Corinna…
Jenny, Vic, who was in charge of producing pictorial evidence of the event, and I gathered on a summer’s evening to try this recipe out. I confess it appealed to me straight away because I am a lazy and not a very sophisticated cook who prides herself on getting by on the one-pot-rule most days. I also am a lazy shopper and hunting for outlandish ingredients is not in my nature. Having said that, I was fully committed to give it my all and searched (in vain) for authentic pasta whilst in Italy earlier in the summer.
It may be, that this type of pasta is normally bought fresh and not fit for export. In any case, Jenny kindly brought a packet of fettuccini along to the test cooking. If you are experiencing similar fettuccini shortages in your area, I recommend substituting with tagliatelle, which, to the untrained eyes, looks very similar, and is easy to get.
The recipe suggested using two types of pasta, regular and with spinach, which makes for lovely colours and is very appealing to eye and palate, but requires complex logistics, as one takes longer to boil than the other. If you are not up to such mental challenges, just choose one colour, but I’d recommend following the recipe – if anything as it allows you to skip your crossword and other mental arithmetic for a day or two.
Jenny getting excited about all the butter and cream coming her way…
This dish mainly consists of all things that your GP has recommended you cut from your diet as much as possible: gallons of double cream and mountains of butter and full-fat cheese. Yummy! I’d say you still have plenty of stuff that is bad for you in the dish if you only use about a third of the amount stated in the recipe. Whilst bringing the pasta to the boil, there is not much to do other to grate the cheese. I also boiled some frozen (rather than tinned, a small concession) peas ‘in advance’, to simplify the process of throwing it all together at the end. Other than that, it pretty much is merely a question of following Vaughn’s instructions and you won’t be disappointed. If you want to avoid the pasta getting too sticky, save a bit of water when you drain it and put that in the pot. Then it is just a question of mixing it all up and enjoying it. I recommend you save this recipe for a special occasion on a cold winter’s night (or any normal British summer’s day), as you won’t be able to eat all these wonderful things that are very bad for you in such quantities more than once a year. On that evening, however, you will be truly happy and content with yourself and the world. Maybe have some medicinal grappa in lieu of dessert. Summing up, this dish is prefect for lazy cooks who enjoy all that is truly bad for you. If you are prone to guilt, hang on to the pea, Vaughn’s special ingredient.
Jenny and Corinna FULL OF CREAM AND BUTTER
Thank-you Corinna, it was a fabulous night of fun round at your place and I was lucky that I just had to roll myself across the lawn to get home to my place. LOVE having you as a neighbour. You too Uncle Vic.
I shall indeed, “…hang on to the pea.” the next time I make this dish…
And if you haven’t seen it before, improve your life immeasurably by watching Robert Vaughn demonstrate how to make this dish with the quite frankly BONKERS Robert Morley. You’ll be calling everyone you meet, “Dear Boy” after this I have no doubt.