Last week we had some leftover pork tenderloin and I decided to experiment with it. I made something like this once when A. was out of town, but I just tossed it with olive oil and cheese rather than trying to go all out and make a cream sauce. As you can see from the title, I call this "fettucine al-fakeo." Get it? Like fettucine alfredo? Yeah. That could maybe use some work. But the recipe itself was mmm mmm good! So, without further ado:

I started with some mushrooms, which I sauteed in hot olive oil. Usually it's good to do mushrooms first because they release a lot of water as they cook. I also sprinkled these with some miscellaneous herbs, including a bit of crushed red pepper flakes.

Next I added in the chopped up pork tenderloin. This was already cooked, but I wanted it to get a little crispy (sort of like pancetta? if you feel like stretching your imagination) and pick up some of the yummy flavors. Plus, it had a bread crumb coating which came off and mixed with the mushrooms, so it was win-win for both ingredients to spend a little time in the skillet. You could use any sort of leftover meat for this, or non-leftover meat, or more vegetables. HAVE FUN. GO CRAZY.

This is an utterly superfluous picture of the pot in which I boiled the fettuccine. However, this is an important step! Whatever pasta you're using, make sure it gets cooked. You'll need it very soon.

I set aside the mushrooms and pork and added some butter into the pan. I didn't wash it; I just left all the delicious brown bits in there to become a part of the sauce.

Then I added some milk. I unhelpfully can't tell you how much I added--I just eyeballed the consistency of the sauce. And I kept the milk handy, because the longer the sauce cooked, and especially when I added the pasta, it needed some thinning down.

With the help of a few tablespoons of flour and some vigorous stirring, the sauce starting looking something like this. Mmm, delicious brown bits.

I threw the cooked pasta into the pan with the sauce. (This is Ronzoni Garden Delight, which purportedly has a full serving of vegetables in every portion. Can't hurt, right?) I added back in the mushrooms and pork I had set aside, tossed it all together, and grated some all-important parmesan cheese on top. These are the steps during which I splashed in a few more dollops of milk.

The final product looked a little something like this:

Yes, those are frozen peas that I cooked in the microwave. And some sort of Chilean wine that we got at Your Dekalb Farmers Market for $3.99. And yes, we were eating in front of the TV. Jeopardy provides for some great competitive bonding time. Don't hate on any of the above statements.

All in all I'd say this "recipe" was a winner that I would try again. It wasn't necessarily the consistency of alfredo sauce at all, but it was flavorful and yummy and made use of some things we had around the kitchen. There's so much room to play with this and customize it...what spins might you want to put on this basic concept?

Linked up at Beauty and Bedlam in the Tasty Tuesday Parade of foods

TastyTuesday200pix Fathers Day Food Ideas

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman