Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hecha Con Amor, “Made With Love”
Story and photographs by Rachel Grahmann (Magazine selected as the 2012 Professionals’ Choice Award Winner)

Not many people are able to say that they would be willing to eat one meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day; with no uncertainty or hesitation, Kristina Garcia definitely would.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, a dish often overlooked on Italian restaurant menus around the world, is an unconditional favorite for this St. Mary’s psychology major. She loves her school, especially the family atmosphere, and has come to call its 135 acres home.

A third-year student from Laredo, Texas, Garcia intends to graduate in May 2014 and attend graduate school to pursue a career as a school psychologist.

Garcia isn’t what anyone would call an avid chef. She doesn’t cook often, and prefers it that way, but has made sure to learn how to prepare her beloved meal—and, on that note, those who sample her dish will attest that she has learned to make it very well.

Any restaurant around San Antonio would likely have a hard time comparing their Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo to hers, yet no matter where she goes to eat, if it is on the menu, it won’t take many guesses to figure out what she’ll be ordering.

Her one tip for cooking Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo is to make it with love.

“Any meal tastes better that way,” she says. If this is the only secret ingredient that makes her dish so amazing, love needs to be bottled and sold in grocery stores everywhere.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo


  • 5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 6 T butter, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb fettuccine pasta
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 T salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 c milk
  • 1 c half-and-half
  • 3/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz shredded Colby-Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 c sour cream

Serves 6-8


Place a large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet and swirl with a fork to melt. Place the chicken thighs in the skillet and sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Drop the chopped garlic between and on top of the cooking chicken. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove from skillet and set aside to be cut.

Fill a large pot halfway with hot water. Place on stove over high heat and salt lightly. Cover. When water begins to boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente, or for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the water and set the pasta aside.

In the same skillet used for the chicken, melt 4 tablespoons of butter, swirling around the garlic. Add chopped onion, 2 more cloves of garlic and sauté. Once the onions are almost transparent, add the flour and stir, add the salt and pepper, and stir in milk and half-and-half until the mixture is well blended. Add the sour cream, Parmesan and Monterrey Jack cheeses and stir until melted.

Slice the cooked chicken and slowly add it to the sauce mixture.

Serve over the cooked fettuccine pasta.


Steaming Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Steaming Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Story and Photos by Emily Scruggs

Priscilla Ortega, St. Mary’s University senior psychology major, prepares her signature dish, spaghetti, by following a coveted family recipe.

When she moved from her family’s home in McAllen, Texas, into a house she shares with her sister in San Antonio, her mother’s spaghetti recipe was one of the comforts of home that Ortega brought with her.

The small campus and strong sense of community are two aspects of St. Mary’s that encouraged Ortega to attend school there.

While these attributes are reminiscent of the small town Ortega grew up in, making her family’s spaghetti recipe is the best remedy when she feels homesick.

Ortega learned the pleasant blend of spices that makes up the spaghetti sauce at the age of 10, under the instruction of her mother and older sister.

Since then, cooking has been a relaxing hobby for her, especially when she feels the stress of balancing school and work.

Italian ranks at the top of her list of favorite foods, along with the Mexican dish botanas.

Though she typically likes diverse dishes, seafood remains to be one type of food that she dislikes.

After graduating from St. Mary’s in May 2012, Ortega plans to attend graduate school abroad to study international relations or mass communication.

She studied in London for a semester during her junior year and cannot wait to return.

London boasts a diverse cuisine, ranging from fish and chips to curry.

Even with the variety of food that will be available to her, Ortega will still keep her family’s spaghetti on the menu.


  • 1 large onion
  • 2 T of butter
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 lbs of ground beef
  • 2 tsp of garlic salt
  • 2 tsp of onion salt
  • 2 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp of pepper
  • 2 tsp of cumin
  • 16 oz Ragu mushroom sauce
  • 1 package of spaghetti noodles
Serves eight.

Chop onion and sauté with butter and garlic. When onion and garlic have softened, sauté ground beef until completely brown. Add to beef garlic salt, onion salt, red pepper flakes, pepper and cumin. Once everything is softened and well- cooked, pour mushroom sauce over beef and warm over low heat. Boil spaghetti noodles for 10 minutes. Once noodles are soft, serve them on a plate and cover them with beef sauce. Serve in the company of crescent rolls.