Fettuccine Rustica

Chef Chris Harden shares a favorite dish at Brio Tuscan


By Jan Walsh, Photography by Beau Gustafson

Fettuccine Rustica from Brio

Brio Tuscan Grill’s executive chef Chris Harden uses a little bit of this and a little bit of that in his flavor-filled Fettuccine Rustica.

In addition to fettuccine, this dish also includes sausage, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, herbed butter, Parmesan cheese, vegetable and roasted chicken stocks, caramelized yellow onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. But it is difficult to determine exactly how much of each ingredient is in this dish.

Trying to determine exact measures for this dish takes me back to watching my grandmother cook. She used products from her farm and garden and whipped up magic without cookbooks or recipe box. Eventually, when I wanted to replicate her dishes in my own kitchen, I was armed with my measuring cup and measuring spoons, but no recipes. I would call and ask her how much of various ingredients to use as I attempted to recreate her dishes. She would answer in uncertain terms: “a pinch of this” and “a little bit of that.” My arsenal of measuring tools did not have marks for “pinch” and “little bit.” So I too learned to cook without them, tasting my way through the development of each dish’s flavors.

Brio Tuscan Grill’s Fettuccine Rustica is like my grandmother’s secret non-recipes, with small amounts of many ingredients that synthesize into a dish that is big on flavor — and for a small price, $9.95.

Learn how to cook it yourself by watching Harden’s cooking video  at BirminghamRestaurants.com/Videos/Chefs-Secrets.

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