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white serving bowls of fettuccine alfredo
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Fettuccine Alfredo

Nothing beats an Easy Fettuccine Alfredo sauce like this one! This version is homemade and made with heavy cream, parmesan cheese, butter, and your favorite pasta! The sauce is rich and creamy and easy enough for a weeknight meal. Ready in about 20 minutes-really!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 504kcal
Author: Nikole Berg

Ingredients

  • 12 to 16 ounces fettuccine or substitute with your favorite pasta type
  • 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream; divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese Romano cheese, or a combination of both; reserve ¼ cup for garnish
  • ½ cup pasta cooking water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Bring 1 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons butter to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally and until reduced slightly. Be careful not to let the cream scorch!
  • While cream simmers, cook pasta in heavily salted water according to package directions to al dente, or desired tenderness.
  • When the cream is reduced, remove from heat. Add ¼ cup reserved heavy cream and 1 cup grated parmesan cheese. Stir until the sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • When pasta is cooked, use a measuring cup to reserve ½ cup of the pasta water, set aside.
  • Drain pasta (don’t rinse) then immediately put into a large serving bowl (you want the noodles to be slightly wet).
  • Pour the Alfredo sauce over the pasta tossing to coat all the noodles. Add a few splashes of reserved pasta water (you won't use use all of it) until desired consistency is reached. Top with reserved parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
  • Sauce will continue to thicken as it cools so add a few more splashes of pasta water to bowl if needed to loosen the sauce.

Notes

  • Don't boil the heavy cream, just let it simmer down nice and easy. You want to see some bubbles around the edges and some steam rising from the pan.
  • Be sure to salt the pasta water quite generously. I prefer kosher salt and use about 1-2 tablespoons. If you're using table salt, reduce to 1.2 to 1 tablespoon.
  • Don't forget to reserve ½  cup of the pasta water after the pasta has been cooked. Scoop some out using a measuring cup. If you forget it's totally okay. I've forgotten on several occasions and it's still delicious.
  • If you want your dish to be more saucy, use less pasta. I think the sweet spot lies somewhere between 12 and 16 ounces. I usually make 16 ounces of pasta (one pound).
  • Try different types of pasta. If I'm adding chicken or shrimp, I like to use farfalle (bowties) or penne.
  • If you want to add garlic, crush two cloves with the back of a knife and simmer it along with the heavy cream. Remove from sauce before adding the parmesan cheese.
  • A pinch of fresh nutmeg is common in Alfredo sauce, but is totally optional. If you'd like to try it, add it to the sauce after you've stirred in the cheese.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator. You can reheat by microwaving at 50% power or on the stovetop over low heat, stirring gently with a silicone spatula.

Nutrition

Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 398mg | Potassium: 195mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1043IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 299mg | Iron: 1mg