Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo is simply created with fettuccine noodles, butter, pasta water and parmesan cheese. This 30 minute meal will be your new go-to Alfredo recipe!
Classic Alfredo sauce actually isn’t made with cream. Have you ever had a cream-free version?
If not, I highly suggest you try this simple recipe. My basic cheesy, butter sauce is a great weeknight staple.
Good quality butter and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, bring this humble dish to a restaurant worthy level. You’ll be shocked at how creamy and delicious this Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo is, and how fast it comes together.
You’ll Only Need 3 Main Ingredients
- Fettuccine pasta– This is the classic pasta cut for this dish. You could substitute with linguine. Dried or fresh varieties work well.
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese– I suggest a good quality cheese imported from Italy. Domestic parmesan will work fine in a pinch.
- Butter- Any butter will do, but I prefer European butter for the flavor.
- Parsley– This is a completely optional garnish. It adds a bit of brightness to an otherwise rich dish.
How to Make Alfredo Sauce
My Sicilian grandmother often made pasta with butter for my picky younger brother. She occasionally added parmigiano cheese, which creates a traditional Alfredo sauce.
Grandma’s method was slightly different than mine, but the results certainly compare.
I start off by boiling the pasta. Before the pasta is finished boiling, I use a cup to scoop up some pasta water and transfer that to a large pan. Then, I drain the pasta (see below).
I bring the pasta water to a simmer, and gradually whisk in sliced, room temperature butter until emulsified. Then I slowly whisk in grated parmigiano cheese, being careful to avoid making lumps (see below).
I undercook the pasta by several minutes and finish cooking it in the sauce until the sauce is thickened and coats the noodles (see below).
Garnish with parsley and more cheese if you’d like, and buon appetito.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQs
- Salt aggressively. Always season your pasta water with plenty of salt to flavor your pasta from the inside out. You will need several tablespoons of salt for a large pot of water. It should taste as salty as sea water.
- Try “grating” your cheese in the blender. If you have a high powdered blender, such as a Vitamix, you can save time by “grating” the cheese directly in the blender. Just cut it into a few chunks and pulse until finely ground.
- Don’t break the sauce. Make sure to whisk rapidly while you gradually add the butter to the pasta water. If you notice that the emulsion starts to separate, add a couple teaspoons more of warm pasta water and whisk vigorously until the sauce comes back together.
Flat noodles with a medium-thickness, such as fettuccine or linguine work best with Alfredo sauce.
I personally wouldn’t add meat directly to this pasta dish, but it would pair well with baked chicken or even baked Italian sausage, in my opinion.
More Pasta Recipes
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Pasta with Peas and Pancetta
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
- Fregola with Clams
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Shrimp Pasta with Spicy Fresh Tomato Sauce
- Lasagna Bolognese
- Pasta Carbonara with Charred Corn and Bacon
- Bucatini All’Amatriciana
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Fettuccine Alfredo is simply created with noodles, butter, pasta water and parmesan cheese. This 30 minute meal will be your new go-to Alfredo recipe!
- 1lb dried fettuccine pasta*
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature (I used European butter)
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese or domestic parmesan, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- ¼ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped, for garnish
- Cook pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. The water should taste as salty as sea water. Add in pasta and cook until 1-2 minutes short of al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving a cup of cooking water.
- Make the Sauce. Add the cup of pasta water to a pan and bring to a simmer. Gradually whisk in room temperature butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until emulsified. Then whisk in grated cheese, being careful to avoid lumps.
- Toss & serve: Transfer the pasta to the sauce and turn to coat. Add more cheese or pasta water, as needed, to adjust the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with more cheese and chopped parsley, if desired. Enjoy.
You can substitute 26 ounces of fresh fettuccine noodles for 1 pound of dried noodles. You can also substitute with linguine noodles.
This dish does not reheat well. If you have leftovers, consider looking up a recipe for a “leftover pasta frittata”.
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Saute
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1/6 of pasta
- Calories: 451
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 122mg
- Fat: 19g
- Saturated Fat: 11g
- Unsaturated Fat: 8g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 57g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 13g
- Cholesterol: 45mg
Keywords: authentic fettuccine alfredo, fettuccine alfredo, alfredo pasta