The typical American style alfredo sauce includes cream but where the more traditional style does not. This version of alfredo sauce is made by melting plenty of butter in a pan and then melting parmigiano reggiano, aka parmesan cheese, into the butter. The final component of the sauce is some of the water that the pasta was cooked in and it all makes for a super creamy sauce that clings to the pasta, without any cream! Because this recipe has so few ingredients, you want to use good quality ones, so use real butter and grab a wedge of parmigiano reggiano rather than the can of pre-grated parmesan. (If you can’t get the parmigiano reggiano, the canned stuff will still make for a tasty sauce!) This dish is easy enough to make on a busy work nigh and it’s sure to impress everyone, including on date night!
Here is the more common American version (with cream) Pasta alla Alfredo
Traditional Pasta alla Alfredo
A quick and easy homemade ‘traditional’ style fettuccine alfredo.
- 12 ounce pasta (such as fettuccine) (gluten free for gluten free)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 3 ounces (~1 cup) parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese), grated
- pepper to taste
- Start cooking the pasta, al dente, as directed on the package.
- Meanwhile, melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large sauce over medium heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low heat, add 2 ounces of the parmesan and let it melt into the sauce.
- Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water, transfer the pasta to the pan with the sauce and mix.
- Add the remaining butter, and parmesan and let them melt.
- Mix in some of the reserved pasta water to get the sauce to the desired consistency.
- Mix in the pepper and enjoy!
Option: Add an herb such as parsley, basil, etc.
Option: Add lemon zest.
Option: Add meat such as shrimp, chicken, steak, etc.
Option: Add a vegetable such as peppers, asparagus, green beans, etc.
Option: Add any flavours you desire!
Option: Use a different cheese, such as: grana padano, pecorino romano, asiago, etc.
Pasta alla Alfredo
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Getting alfredo sauce perfect can be tricky but you nailed it! This looks absolutely delicious. I love that just a few ingredients can make a special and delicious meal.