Although it has its critics, and lacks the inimitable voice of Irma Rombauer, as the photo attests, the 1997 edition of the Joy of Cooking is my go-to cookbook. That said, I found the recipe for Alfredo sauce--a BG favourite--unacceptable; too much butter, and the sauce didn't hold together. I experimented last night with more of a bechamel type approach, and all (except the OG, who prefers her pasta tout simple) were pleased.
I served this alongside a grilled porterhouse, with steamed green beans (raw for the BG). If you cook the pasta in a saucepan, my preferred method of late, the whole thing can come together in 20 minutes, including time for the grill to heat up.
Here's the recipe for the sauce. The steak I just sprinkled with a little kosher salt and grilled. The beans I steamed in one of those rubber baskets, which I love. I think I bought mine in Chinatown a few years ago.
Melt 2tbs butter in a saucepan. Mix in 2tbs flour and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add 1/2 pint of whipping cream (you could use half and half or milk, and I ended up thinning the sauce with milk at the end, so I think I'd use the half and half next time). Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, whisking out any lumps). Throw in 1/2 cup of grated fresh parmesan and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, adding more liquid or cheese if necessary for the right consistency.
Hasta la pasta!