Ok, nothing against Olive Garden or other similar places, but I have a hard time going to a restaurant (and paying a lot) for something I can easily make at home. And really, I can't say I never go there...if a friend wants to go, I won't argue lol, I just will opt for something I can't make at home. They do have choices aside from pasta dishes. I just won't order spaghetti, fettuccine alfredo, or lasagna. Pasta is such a cheap thing to buy, and nothing difficult to make, so I do what I call my "Olive Garden at Home"! So, next time you're in the mood for fettuccine alfredo, if you are looking to save money, try this! Your family will probably be impressed you brought Olive Garden to them, and you'll be impressed by how much money you saved!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cost: approx. $12.00
The Pasta;To start off, take a large pot and bring 5qt. of water to a boil. Add a bit of salt (approx. 1 teaspoon). Once water is at a boil, add in the fettuccine noodles (1 12oz. box), stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain water. You can either mix sauce right into the pasta, or simply pour some over each plate before being served, that is totally up to you. If you need a gluten-free option, they actually have some great ones on the market now, tasting just as good as regular pasta!
The Chicken;I used some fresh chicken breasts tenders. Simply put 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil into a pan on medium/high heat. Once hot, carefully add the chicken. Salt and pepper each side while cooking. Make sure the chicken is fully cooked (165 F). I cooked mine approx. 8 minutes on each side. Occasionally move the chicken around so it won't stick to the bottom of the pan. After fully cooked, I set on a plate and cut the chicken up into small bit sized pieces. This will be added on top of the pasta once it is plated.
The Broccoli;I used frozen broccoli because, don't ask me why, but I prefer frozen to fresh when it comes to broccoli. It is easier too. (And guess what? I'm pretty sure Olive Garden used frozen anyway! lol) So, I just get a bag of frozen broccoli crowns (make sure to get crowns so you won't have a bag full of the steams). Put in a covered pot on a medium/high heat, stirring occasionally. Don't over cook the broccoli, it tastes best when it is not mushy. Once it is cooked to the desired point, strain the water and add a portion on top of each plate.
I used a frozen garlic bread stick. It only takes approz. 8 minutes in the oven, and they're very delicious! Your local store probably has several options so just take a look and pick one you like!
Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:1 stick butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups heavy cream
salt and black pepper to taste
Alfredo Sauce Instructions:
- Melt butter in a sauce pan on medium heat.
- Add garlic, cream, salt, pepper, and bring to a simmer. Do not allow to boil.
- Add the grated parmesan cheese and continue to simmer for approx 7-10 minutes or until thick.
- Set aside until ready to use.