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A satisfying pasta dinner

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Swirling chile crisp, a popular Chinese condiment, and spinach into fettuccine Alfredo gives you an immensely satisfying meatless one-dish dinner. The firecracker crunch of chile crisp intensifies when sizzled in butter before cream tempers its heat. Parmesan heightens the sauce’s savory umami, and pregrated cheese works just fine here. This astoundingly simple meal — it doesn’t even require any chopping — comes together in under 30 minutes but tastes as complex as anything you’d get at a restaurant.

Chile Crisp Fettuccine Alfredo With Spinach
• Salt
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 1 to 2 tablespoons chile crisp, plus more to taste (see Tip)
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 pound dried fettuccine
• 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
• 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (2 1/4 ounces), plus more for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
While the water heats, melt the butter with the chile crisp in a very large skillet or Dutch oven over low heat. Whisk in the cream and keep warm over low. (It should steam, not bubble.)
Cook the fettuccine until al dente according to the package directions. Use tongs to transfer the noodles to the cream mixture, reserving the pasta water. Add the spinach and turn with tongs until the noodles are well coated.
Add the Parmesan and toss, still over low heat, until the noodles are slicked with a creamy sauce, adding a spoonful or two of pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce. Divide among serving dishes and top with Parmesan and more chile crisp, if you’d like. Serve immediately.
Total time: 25 minutes, serves 6.

You can make chile crisp easily at home or buy it in supermarkets or online. It varies in spiciness, so adjust the amount to your taste. For this dish, try to add more of the solids than the oil to the sauce for the most flavorful dish.

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