At long last, we bring to you the classic that needs no introduction. The mere pairing of the words "fettuccine" and "alfredo" trigger an almost Pavlovian response in anticipation of tender noodles bathed in a garlicky Parmesan cream sauce. Toasted pine nuts and breadcrumbs add texture and depth of flavor to an already deliciously decadent dish, and a salad of baby arugula tossed in red wine vinaigrette is a fresh palate cleanser between bites.
Add fettuccine to boiling water and cook 9-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in colander and rinse briefly under cold water to stop cooking process. Reserve pot (no need to wipe clean).
Prepare the Ingredients
While pasta cooks, mince garlic. Core Roma tomato and cut into ½" dice. Peel and halve shallot. Slice thinly. Crush half the croutons into coarse breadcrumbs with your hands or using the bottom of a heavy pot or pan (reserve remaining whole croutons for salad).
Toast the Pine Nuts
Place a small pan over medium heat. Add pine nuts to hot pan and toast, stirring frequently, 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately remove pine nuts from pan to prevent burning and allow to cool.
Make the Sauce
Add garlic and cream to pot used to cook fettuccine. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil while stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes. Once boiling, remove from burner and stir in ⅔ the Parmesan cheese (reserve remaining for garnish). Season with ½ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Add cooked fettuccine and stir gently to coat.
Make the Salad
Combine red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Add arugula, Roma tomato, and shallots (to taste). Toss to combine.
Plate the Dish
Place salad in a small plate or bowl and garnish with whole croutons. Place fettuccine on a plate or shallow bowl and garnish with crushed croutons, remaining Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.