Monday, December 3, 2012

Campbell's Alfredo Sauce with Campbell's Stock First Cream Stock

With such a busy schedule, it can be really difficult to come up with interesting and unique recipes every night of the week. Sure, it's easy to come up with inspired meal ideas, but making them happen under time constraints is another story. On a weekly basis I find myself sacrificing the flavour and complexity of my meals due to my busy schedule, choosing to take shortcuts or tone down my recipe to fit the time that I have. That's why I was so excited to receive a package from Campbell's Canada containing their full new line of Stock First stocks, including beef, chicken, and, most interestingly, cream stock. Campbell's new line of stocks takes the stress out of cooking, allowing home cooks to amp up the flavour of their dishes in next to no time at all. Although I was eager to try each one of Campbell's new stocks, I had to give their Cream Stock a try thanks to a craving for fresh pasta. Campbell's provided an incredibly simple and quick recipe for Alfredo sauce using their Cream Stock, which would allow me the time to concentrate my efforts on making the perfect, fresh, homemade fettuccine noodles.

Fresh homemade pasta is actually quite easy to prepare, but there's no doubt that it is a time consuming process. I can't help but stress out every time I make homemade pasta, rushing to just get it done, realizing that I've spent so much time working on the noodles, that I haven't left myself much time for the sauce. Because Campbell's recipe for Alfredo sauce was so incredibly simple, I could finally find the joy in making fresh pasta again. With my cousin Kim by my side to help, as well as a notepad filled with recently-researched pasta making tips, and plenty of time until dinner, making our fresh fettuccine noodles actually felt very relaxing. We had so much fun using the swanky, new, red lacquered pasta maker that I had received as a birthday gift this year (thanks Alex!), taking turns with who got to feed the dough through the machine. We were absolutely giddy over it! Making the fresh pasta noodles was an absolute breeze thanks to my previous experience in making pasta and the slew of new tips that I applied. Check out my homemade pasta making tips here:

Fresh Pasta Tips
  • Give yourself plenty of time to make the pasta so you're not rushing to get it done. This may not be the best weeknight meal, especially for pasta-making virgins.
  • Remove eggs from fridge a half hour before making dough.
  • Don't add too much water. You want the dough to just come together. I add about a tablespoon at a time.
  • Don't just punch the dough around when kneading, make sure to fold the dough over itself over and over again until you have reached the right consistency.
  • Don't simply time yourself when kneading the dough, feel when the dough is ready. This takes some practice, but after a few tries you'll get the hang of it. 
  • Allow the kneaded dough to rest for 1-hour.
  • If you don't have a pasta dryer (I mean, who does?) hang your cut pasta noodles on clothes hangers to dry.
  • And most importantly, don't freak out! It's easy to freak out the first time you make pasta from scratch, worried about sticking noodles or cracking dough, but the trick is to laugh it off and keep going! Practice makes perfect, and the more you practice making pasta the more intuitive it becomes. 
Once the noodles were dried and ready to hop into the salty bath on the stove, all I had to do was whip together the Alfredo sauce. The unbelievably simple sauce came together in no time at all, but had the rich flavours  and velvety smooth texture of a sauce that required much more time and effort. My favourite thing about the cream stock was the texture. When making a creamy sauce I often have trouble getting the sauce to the right consistency, always having a too-thin or too-thick sauce, or finding that right consistency, only to have it separate on me. This sauce had that perfect consistency that I've always been aiming for, with no separation issues. Kim, my mom, and myself all loved the Fettuccine Alfredo, with each one of us enthusiastically going up for seconds. Creamy, comforting, and absolutely delicious, I will definitely be making this dish again, and it's all thanks to Campbell's Cream Stock! 

Campbell's Stock First Cream Stock isn't technically a "stock" although it performs like a stock in many ways, creating a base for your dish, adding rich and robust flavour in the time it takes to open the carton.  I'm often skeptical with products such as this, sure that I am sacrificing quality ingredients and my health for convenience, but I was happy to learn that Campbell's Cream Stock does more than just elevate your recipes, it contains no artificial colours or flavour, is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, and it has 83% less fat and 78% less calories than the same serving of 35% whipping cream (125mL). I will definitely be purchasing Campbell's Stock First Cream Stock in the future and would suggest that you give it a try as well! 

Tip: Make this meal even more substantial by adding grilled chicken or shrimp!

Campbell's Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine noodles (see recipe below)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
1 carton Campbell's Stock First Cream Stock
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  1. Simmer wine and cracked black pepper in a medium-large saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced by half.
  2. Add stock and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  3. While stock is simmering, cook fresh fettuccine (see recipe below) in boiling salted water until al dente.
  4. Add cooked and drained noodles, chopped parsley, and parmesan cheese and stir to coat noodles completely. Serve with more fresh cracked pepper and parmesan cheese. 
Fresh Pasta 
3 cups flour
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
cold water

  1. Take eggs out of fridge 1/2 hour before making dough.
  2. In a medium-large bowl add the flour and make a small well in the centre. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add the beaten yolks and the salt into the middle of the well in the bowl of flour. Keeping one clean hand for mixing, and one for adding water, mix and form the dough, adding a little bit of water at a time until you have formed a nice, firm, but slightly sticky dough. You want to add enough water for it to just come together. Don't let your dough get too sticky.
  4. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, folding the dough over itself over and over again until you have a smooth and slightly springy ball. Lightly coat dough in olive oil, place dough back in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Tear off a piece of dough bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a baseball. Continue making the noodles following the instructions on your pasta maker. 
  6. Dry lightly floured noodles on clean clothes hangers. This should take about 15-20 minutes. 
  7. Cook pasta in boiling salted water for about 4 minutes, or until al dente. 
Learn more about Campbell's Stock First products here!

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