Whether you bought a jar of Alfredo sauce or you made one from scratch, you have to admit that once or twice, it’s not one of the best decisions in your life. Yes, it’s rich and creamy and it’s anything we want to arise a guilty conscience for choosing a sinful meal but if you’re lined up with an array of selections, will it be your first choice? I have had a taste of restaurant-made pasta coated in Alfredo sauce that’s just plain and boring. Especially when you’re served one that’s past the stage of being freshly cooked, you immediately regret the action. Luckily, there are ways on how to spice up Alfredo sauce. While it’s not love at first sight, these useful hacks will guarantee a happily-ever-after ending with your pasta dish.
Build a solid foundation with garlic and onion
As how you’ll do a main dish, it’s not a bad idea to fire up the flavours from the start as you sauté garlic and onion. In fact, it’s a brilliant thinking. Who doesn’t love the combination of these spices? If you’re going for a nutty taste, try toasting the garlic until brown and crispy. Instead of traditionally mixing butter, cream, and parmesan, why not stir fry garlic and onion first with the fat. This is also an excellent trick to give store-bought Alfredo sauces a makeover.
Add more herbs and seasonings
A way to balance the fatty flavour is to introduce more zest into it. Adding herbs easily solves your problem on how to spice up Alfredo sauce. The fresher it is, the better. Basil, oregano, parsley, and sage make a superb combination. A squeeze or two of lemon will create a different zest and it plays a lot in evening out the bland flavour of the fat. And if you want it extra spicy, throw in a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. This will surely kick up the piquancy of your dish. What’s good about trying this option is not only because it enhances the overall taste of your dish but also it brings out an appetizing presentation. The colors give a beautiful touch in an otherwise plain and soulless bed of white sauce.
It wouldn’t hurt also if you’ll use dry ingredients to boost the flavors. One of the best ways to do it is to make your own Cajun seasoning by mixing garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, cayenne, paprika and black pepper. It will heat up your palate definitely in a satisfying way.
Give an alcoholic kick
White wine is popularly used in so many dishes and Alfredo sauce is of no exception. The sauce is reborn into a new identity with the addition of this ingredients as it develops a slightly sweet and sour zest. How to spice up Alfredo Sauce with white wine is pretty simple. Just bring out your favourite wine from the cellar and use ¼ cup for every 1 cup of milk or cream. Use this base as well if you’re using a pre-made Alfredo sauce from the grocery store. You may vary this depending on how strongly flavoured you want your sauce to be. Simmer it before adding the heavy cream. Not everyone can tolerate wine so if you’re planning to serve this to your guests, use one with a mild flavour.
Toss in some meat or vegetables
Probably the easiest way to a more exciting Alfredo dish is to add meat. If you’re planning to use the sauce as dip or sauce of another meat-dish, of course this is not particularly applicable. For now, let’s focus on how to spice up Alfredo sauce using meat for a pasta dish. Then most common is to add chicken fingers. Herbed, either pan-seared or oven-baked will surely give life to your pasta. You may also try tuna or salmon in place of chicken. If you don’t mind the extra calories, ground beef will surely make a huge difference.
Now, into the vegetable department, explore different vegetables to jazz up your Alfredo dish. My personal favorites would include zucchini, bell pepper, and asparagus. Brocolli and carrots are also excellent choices. Your go-to method may be blanching but if you have the luxury of time anyway, try roasting it to add a nutty flavour on your pasta. They make a wonderful play not only on the taste and texture but also on the appearance. These vegetables give a wonderful splash of colors to your food.
Here’s another genius hack. If you haven’t heard of cauliflower Alfredo, you’re missing out a lot on all the healthy and yummy stuff. Basically, what you need to do is boil cauliflower and toss in the blender for pureeing. Add vegetable stock to produce a smooth consistency. If you’re being generous on your dish, substitute milk for a richer flavor. While cooking Alfredo sauce following the typical process, add cauliflower puree onto the mixture. For store-bought sauce, warm the sauce on a skillet and toss the vegetable for boiling.
Would you agree that pasta soaked in just Alfredo sauce and absolutely nothing else is a chore to eat? If the abovementioned ingredients are not available, at least this hack may save you from eating a gluey dish. Try tossing chopped nuts like almonds and pecan to a variety on flavors. Whole cashew will also make a difference.
Make it cheesier
There’s nothing cheese cannot fix in a pasta. Even if you’ve doubled the cheese on your recipe, there’s no harm boosting this based on your preference. Adding parmesan cheese will make it thicker. Especially when it’s grated freshly off the block, it will do wonders. We’ve seen others try Romano cheese and it came out better. Believe it or not, old blocks of cheese of forgotten yesterdays will also help in improving your sauce.
We understand how it’s such a nightmare to eat a sloppy pasta dish dressed up in Alfredo sauce and yet we endure it on a busy weeknight. Try the above tips. Mix and match according to your preference and you’ll see there’s a lot of fascination an average Alfredo sauce can make than what you can think of.