The Creamiest Alfredo Ever Without Heavy Cream!—Your New Trick, Right Here!

/ Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I shared one of my absolutely favorite weeknight dinners with Freutcake! This Bacon-Corn Alfredo recipe was the result of a fridge clean-out one night. We had corn. We had bacon. We had goat cheese—and we always have linguine. I whipped up this combo and we've been making it every summer since!

The trick to my recipe: There’s no heavy cream! Or butter for that matter. This tangy sauce is made by alternate adding pasta water and soft fresh goat cheese to the hot pasta until everything melts together into cheesy perfection. Don't worry, it's still totally rich and delicious! I think this simple ingredient hack lends a ton of flavor (while also cutting down on your grocery list).
For this batch, I used slab bacon cut into little cubes. If you’d rather just use bacon strips, go for it! Crumble those babies up once they’re crisp and sprinkle ‘em over at the end! Oh, and if you’re willing to splurge on an extra ingredient, teeny basil leaves will really up the freshness factor. This recipe is easy enough for a lazy weeknight dinner, but definitely fancy enough for guests (and super inexpensive). I really hope you enjoy it! xo

SERVES: 4 to 6

5 strips bacon or 1 small piece slab bacon, cut into pieces (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 ears corn, kernels cut off
1 pound linguine 
6 to 8 ounces fresh goat cheese

PANTRY STAPLES: Salt and pepper

1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat

2. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate to drain using a slotted spoon; set aside. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the bacon drippings in the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the corn; turn off the heat.

3. Add the linguine to the boiling water and cook at the label directs. About 2 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, return the corn mixture to medium heat.

4. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water; drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the corn mixture. Add a splash of reserved pasta water (about 1/4 cup) to the skillet and cook, stirring, until simmering. Add a large spoonful of goat cheese and cook, stirring, until melted. Repeat, stirring in pasta water and goat cheese, until you’ve reached your desired consistency (I usually use about 1/2 cup water and all but a few tablespoons goat cheese, which I use for topping at the end). Stir in salt and pepper to taste

5. Divide pasta among bowls. Sprinkle with bacon and more freshly ground pepper.

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