This is close to “real” Fettuccine Alfredo, though I think reports vary as to what “real” Fettucine Alfredo is. I remember reading the original recipe, which was made by a man in Rome named Alfredo. Isn’t that just a CRAZY coincidence? Anyway, Alfredo’s wife had morning sickness and couldn’t keep anything down, so he mushed together a bunch of softened butter and grated Parmesan cheese, tossed it in warm pasta, and she ate herself through her entire pregnancy.
Or so the story goes.
Are you ready?
Are you sure?
Cream. Heavy cream. Not milk. Not half and half.
You need plenty of Parmesan cheese. Aside from the obvious inconvenience of making me go up a jean size, I love Fettuccine Alfredo because it allows me to clean my fridge out of all the miscellaneous Parmesan pieces.
You’ll also need…Fettuccine!
I’ve talked before about my weakness when it comes to collecting fancy, artisan dried pasta. It hasn’t gotten any better.
Okay, go ahead and grate the Parmesan. You’ll need about 2 cups.
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta, and cook the pasta until al dente.
Then grab a skillet or saucepan and set it over medium-low heat. (Low if your stove gets hot.)
Melt 1 stick of butter in the skillet…
Then pour in an equal amount of cream.
You might as well just surrender and let this happen.
Whisk it together gently, and just allow the mixture to warm up and get happy.
At this point, I’ll season the sauce a bit—a dash of salt (though with all the Parmesan, it doesn’t need much), plenty of freshly ground black pepper. I don’t like to do much more than that, as the standalone flavor of the Parmesan is enough!
Just before the pasta is ready, stick in a metal measuring cup and retrieve some of the pasta water. We’ll use it later to thin the sauce if it’s a little gloopy.
Now, grab a big serving bowl. We’re just gonna do this right here.
Sprinkle half the Parmesan right into the bowl.
Then just pour the warm, creamy butter/cream mixture right in.
This is so criminal.
Don’t stir it. Just let it sit and get acquainted.
Now drain the pasta…
And immediately pour it, steaming hot, right into the bowl with the other ingredients.
Then, with tongs, gently toss it to combine.
After you give it a couple of tosses, sprinkle in the rest of the Parmesan.
For obvious reasons, this is really fun to make for company. Just mix it all up right at the dinner table!
Important: if it gets overly thick and gloopy, splash in some of the warm pasta water. It’ll bring it to the perfect consistency.
I give it a sprinkle of black pepper just before serving. You could certainly sprinkle it with chopped parsley or chives…but I really like just leaving it unadulterated.
Keep in mind that this is very, very rich. Honestly, as a main dish, this quantity would serve at least six. As an accompaniment for tenderloin, steaks, or grilled chicken, it’ll go even farther.
If you like Fettuccine Alfredo, you’ll fall in love with this one.
1 stick butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
dash of salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl. Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top.
Drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl.
Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan. Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.
Serve immediately as a main course or accompaniment to meat or salad.