Fettuccine Alfredo was invented by an Italian chef named Alfredo de Lelio who created it for his wife who was pregnant. In 1927 Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks fell in love with it while dining in his restaurant. Usually served with grilled chicken or shrimp, I've substituted seasoned scallops for a "molto squisito" change-of-pace.
1/2 - 3/4 pound fresh or frozen scallops
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/3 cup soft cracker or bread crumbs
Dash garlic salt
Dash smoked sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
16 ounces fettuccine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 shallots, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4- 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
-For the scallops: If scallops are frozen, defrost. Pat scallops with paper towel. Preheat broiler or set oven for 400 degrees F. In a small bowl add sherry to the melted butter. Put two tablespoons of the butter/sherry mixture in shallow baking sheet and arrange scallops in single layer. Combine crumbs and seasonings and sprinkle over scallops. Drizzle remaining butter/sherry over scallops. Bake about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove when done and place on plate. Cover with foil and set aside.
-For the fettuccine: Cook the pasta in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander making sure you have reserved ¼ - 1/2 cup of pasta water. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat. Cook until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
-Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add scallops, the butter-cream mixture and half of the cheese. Toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and garnish with parsley, if desired.. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.
Note: You can grill boneless, skinless chicken breasts and when cooked thoroughly cut into chunks and add to pasta with the butter-cream mixture and cheese. Shrimp can also be used following the recipe for the scallops. Or, if you prefer, you can serve it all by itself.