Pheasant and Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo

When you're chasing light for photos, things get a "heated" in the kitchen when dishes don't turn out right the first time. This particular recipe was a bit of a nightmare, when our first two batches of alfredo sauce, made with half and half, kept curdling into a lumpy mess. What was so frustrating was that we couldn't figure out why. We checked the heat-- it wasn't high at all. We did add a little wine, but never had problems with it before. We switched skillets, thinking that it might be some weird chemical reaction to our cast iron pan, but that wasn't it.We frantically Googled for solutions, and the only thing that saved this dish was to send Rick back out to the store to buy heavy cream. But that shouldn't have mattered at all. Perhaps that particular container of half and half was bad, but I didn't think it smelled funky-- we had just bought it the day before. It remains a mystery. We're sure you won't have the same problems making this recipe.

I guess the lesson here is, when in doubt, buy heavy cream. Because calorie counting just ruins everything. 

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 8 ounces of fettuccine pasta, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 4 pheasant breasts
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup of dry white wine
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 3/4 cup of shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 large handful of fresh baby spinach
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- crushed red pepper, to taste

1. Cook fettuccine according to package directions for al dente. Reserve some pasta water for later.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Clean and wash pheasant breasts thoroughly, dab dry with paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown on both sides. Cut pheasant into strips or cubes, then set aside. 
3. Add spinach to the same skillet and cook until it just starts to wilt, tossing occasionally. Remove spinach and set aside. Don't overcook the spinach. It gets mushy and loses its nice green color.

4. Add an additional tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Add minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, but do not burn. Add wine, scraping the bottom of the pan and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Then whisk in the cream and let it simmer until slightly thickened.

Next, take it off the heat and mix in the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Add the pasta to the alfredo sauce and toss. Then add the spinach, crushed red pepper and pheasant, and toss until well combined. 
6. Serve hot with extra Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. If your sauce gets dry, add a little pasta water.


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