Introduction: CPK Garlic Cream Fettuccine Copy Cat
Garlic. Cream. Fettuccine. The name says it all. This was always my go-to dish at California Pizza Kitchen and I was thrilled to discover I could make it at home with only a handful of ingredients. This is a sauce that can be made in the time it takes the pasta to cook and also works as a great base for further additions and tinkering. Needs no special cooking tools or exotic/hard to find ingredients.
Salt and Pepper
The reason there are no amounts for the ingredients is that this takes a 1:1:1 ratio of the main ingredients and everything else is to taste. For example, if you want your final volume to be about 3/4 cups of sauce, you'll use 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 1/4 cup parmesan. In the steps that follow, I used 1/2 cup for each and we had enough leftover sauce for 1-2 more servings. If you have leftover sauce I've found better results reheating the sauce separately on the stove then mixing with fresh/leftover pasta than mixing everything first and trying to reheat it all together.
Step 1: The Garlic
As the name would suggest, this is a dish for garlic lovers. I am a firm believer that garlic should be measured with the heart, but if you'd like to avoid some of its, um . . . . . laxative properties, there's a trick for that too.
If you want every ounce of garlicy goodness in your dish (and get as close as possible to the original), you'll want to make a simple garlic paste. First separate and peel however many cloves of garlic you choose to use. I chopped 5 cloves of garlic, but, in the end probably only put about 4 into the dish because I'm terrible at estimating. Left over garlic paste can be put in a jar in the fridge for a few days for all your garlic needs.
First slice, then mince your garlic. Then add a sprinkle of salt and start mashing the garlic with the flat side of the knife. The smaller you mince the garlic the easier this will be, but it will also help to do the mushing a bit at a time. Adding the salt helps remove some of the bite of the garlic and makes it cook in less time, just be sure to account for the extra salt when doing the rest of your seasoning (i.e. you may want to use a little less in your pasta water, if you normally salt that).
This is the most time consuming part of the recipe. If you want to save time or get garlic flavor with fewer scatological consequences, you can leave the garlic in larger chunks, simmer it in the butter to cook the garlic and flavor the butter, then either strain the chunks out before the next step, or eat around them in the final dish.
Step 2: Making the Sauce
Add the butter to a sauce pan and let it melt over low heat. I chopped mine into smaller pieces first because all I had was frozen butter. Add the garlic paste to the melted butter and mix. Slowly add the heavy cream and mix well. Raise the heat to medium and add the parmesan. When I'm making this for myself I prefer fresh parmesan, either grated or shredded, but if you want to match the original, reach for the stuff in the Green Tub. Bring to a simmer for a couple minutes to make sure the cheese melts. Add salt/pepper to taste. Reduce to the lowest possible heat if your pasta isn't ready yet.
Step 3: Bring It All Together
Pour the sauce over your pasta and lightly toss to mix. Add a sprinkle of parmesan and some parsley as a final garnish and you've got a dead ringer for CPK Garlic Creme Fettuccine. Eagle eyed observers will note I made mine with linguine. Any port in a storm and any pasta in a pandemic, use whatever you got and go forth in garlic, my friend.
Step 4: Spice It Up
This sauce is a delicious indulgence all on it's own, but is also a great base for your own personal touches. I highly recommend some andouille sausage and cajun seasoning if you like the spice. Chicken, shrimp, and pretty much everything that goes with garlic will find a home in this dish.
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