Fettuccine Alfredo - Here's an easy Alfredo Sauce recipe that your whole family will love. This tasty recipe is a family favorite easy weeknight dinner that takes less than 30 minutes to make. It's so good!
This tasty recipe was adapted from Marcella Hazan's Cream and Butter Sauce (all'Alfredo) from her book, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, is super fast to make and incredibly delicious to eat!
Marcella Hazan has been credited with making authentic Italian cuisine accessible to the American cook. For me personally, her concise and poetic instructions transport me back to my good friend Nonna's basement kitchen, where I first began to learn how to make Italian food.
Here's What You Need
You'll only need a few fresh ingredients to make Cream and Butter Sauce: 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1-½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and 1 lb of pasta.
Notes on Ingredients
Parmigiano-Reggiano: One of the most important lessons to learn in cooking is the value of choosing the finest, freshest ingredients available for your recipe. Parmigiano-Reggiano, is the star ingredient in Alfredo Sauce. Its important to choose a piece that has "Parmigiano-Reggiano" imprinted on the rind; the verification of its authenticity. Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano will also have a very pleasing aroma. Avoid pieces that have only a faint scent and that appear to be dry in texture.
How to Make It
Fettuccine Alfredo is fast and easy to make. By the time you finish boiling the pasta, this creamy pasta sauce will be ready. So get your pasta water boiling and ready to go as soon as possible.
6 Easy Steps:
- Boil some water.
- Start the sauce.
- Make the pasta.
- Transfer pasta to sauce.
- Toss the pasta with some Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Serve immediately.
Note on the Salt: It is very important to add enough salt to the pasta water. Per Marcella Hazan, a general rule of thumb is 1-½ Tablespoons of salt per pound of pasta. Salt adds necessary flavor to the pasta. Without it, the pasta will taste blank and no sauce will be able to cover up the mistake. So, even though it seems like a lot of salt, fill your palm with it and toss it in the water. You will be happy you did.
Note on the Pasta Water: The starchy, salty water that is created then you boil pasta is the secret ingredient to Italian pasta dishes. So, don't drain your pasta into the sink without saving a cup or two. It can be used to loosen up a sauce that has become too thick or just for a flavor boost. For this recipe, I use a pair of kitchen tongs and just transfer the pasta directly into the Sauce. That way, I get some of that starchy, salty flavor in the dish.
What is Real Alfredo Sauce?
The great debate: Cream or no cream? Traditional Alfredo Sauce, also known in Italy as Burro e Parmigiano, or Pasta in Bianco, has only 4 ingredients: Butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pasta Water, and Salt, in varying proportions. Most Alfredo Sauce Recipes commonly used in America call for the addition of Heavy Whipping Cream.
Grated Parmesan Cheese - This recipe won't taste nearly as good as intended, if the only parmesan you have is the common variety in the shaker from your fridge. But it will still be a thousand times better than store bought Alfredo Sauce.
Note of Caution: Using a lesser quality parmesan cheese could make this sauce grainy and not smooth and creamy.
Pasta - Alfredo Sauce is great with any shape of pasta like: Gemelli, Rotini, Tortellini, Linguini, or Spaghetti.
One variation we love to make is Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli. Other additions like salmon and asparagus or steak are also great variations.
There you have it. It's as easy as that! We hope you enjoy this recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo. Try it and let us know how you like it. We'd love to hear from you!
xo ~ Seanna
Video: Watch How to Make It
More Tasty Pasta Recipes
Be sure to check out our other tasty pasta recipes for that easy weeknight dinner win!
- Oma's Spaghetti - My Oma's original recipe and family favorite made with Ground Beef, Butter, Tomatoes, Onions, and Celery. Super delish!
- Ground Bison Pasta - Made with ground bison, tomato sauce, onion, and Italian seasonings. So good!
- Ground Turkey Pasta - Made with ground turkey, tangy tomato, Italian Seasoning. Finished with butter and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
More Tasty Recipes
Best Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1-½ Cups Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or use best parmesan cheese available
- 1 Teaspoon Table Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- ⅛ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg a few fresh gratings, or a few shakes from spice jar
- Boil Water. Get the water boiling for the pasta. Put 4 quarts of cold water into a stock pot and set it on high heat to boil. While you are waiting for the water to come to a boil, start making the Sauce.
- Start the Sauce. Put the butter and heavy whipping cream into a sauce pan and turn the heat on Medium-Low. Bring the butter and cream up to a boil, stirring continuously with a whisk until the sauce thickens. This should take about 1 minute. When the sauce is thick and creamy, turn off the heat. Then, check to see if the pot of water is boiling yet.
- Back to the Pasta. Wait until the water begins to boil and then add 2 Tablespoons of Salt to the boiling water. Add the entire box of pasta to the boiling water and stir occasionally to make sure the pasta doesn't stick together. You want it to loose and freely moving around in the water. The pasta will take about 8-10 minutes to cook.
- Transfer Pasta to Sauce. When the pasta is just about al denté, turn the sauce back on low and transfer the pasta directly from the boiling water into the sauce pan. Quickly toss the pasta, making sure that all of the pasta is coated with the cream and butter.
- Finishing the Sauce. Finally, add all of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, a little salt and pepper, a few gratings of fresh nutmeg, and toss the pasta continuously creating a beautifully creamy sauce.
- Serve Immediately. Dish out each serving into a warmed bowls and serve immediately garnished with more freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and chopped Italian Parsley.
Pasta WaterIt's super important that you salt the pasta water. Add 2 Tablespoons Table Salt to 4 quarts of boiling water. The water you boil your pasta in should be salty like the sea.
Substitution SuggestionIf you cannot get Parmigiano-Reggiano, use the best grated parmesan you can find.
Add-InsThis creamy pasta is delicious with additions like Roast Chicken and Peas, Salmon and Asparagus, or Steak and Broccoli.
"I believe with my whole heart in the act of cooking, in its smells, in its sounds, in its observable progress on the fire." "...the emotional and physical pleasure deeply rooted in the act..."
Marcella Hazan, Preface to Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
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