Growing up in an Italian household, my grandmother would make me eat at least three, heaping plates of fettuccine alfredo before she deemed me ‘full.’ If you wish to recreate your Italian childhood or just want to enjoy a delicious bowl of creamy pasta, you’re in the right place. This post should give you a basic understanding of how to make fettuccine alfredo.
Start by boiling one package of, you guessed it, fettuccine. Salt the water before adding the pasta, otherwise, the pasta will be rather tasteless. Take the pasta out a minute or two before you think it is truly done, as the residual heat will cook it a little more and create a perfect ‘al dente’ pasta. Finally, save about a cup of water to add to the sauce.
While the pasta is cooking, use a medium saucepan to warm up a half cup of butter. A non-stick pan is a good choice, as is stainless steel. These pans are the most forgiving in case you mess something up or burn the dish. Once the butter begins melting, add a half cup of full-fat cream. Okay, so this isn’t the healthiest dish, but it is undeniably delicious.
Once the butter and cream and combined and warm, season this mix generously with salt and pepper. Whisk in a half cup of grated parmesan. Home grated is best, however, if you don’t have time you can use the store-bought variety. Try to get the fancier and more expensive one though, as the cheap one will create a greasy sauce.
Once the sauce is completed and the pasta is cooked, add the pasta into the saucepan and mix. Here’s where the pasta water comes in; if the sauce becomes too thick when mixing, add a few spoons of pasta water until it smooths out. The pasta water absorbs the flavor and goodness of the pasta when it is boiled, and this amplifies the sauce. Using cold sink water for this step could even break the sauce.
Fettuccine alfredo needs to be served immediately; it doesn’t need to rest like other dishes. When plating, add a few pinches of freshly ground parsley over the top of the massive mound of cheesy pasta that you’re about to eat. This will impress anyone that you are eating with and possibly trick them into thinking that you are a pro chef. Your mileage may vary on this one, depending on how discriminating your friends or significant other are.
Hopefully, this helped you learn the basics of how to make fettuccine alfredo. It is a relatively simple dish, although it can be amplified if need be. Once you master the basic dish, consider adding shrimp, chicken or tofu to it. Some people add additional spices to the sauce, such as basil or chili flakes. Fettuccine alfredo is a fantastic dish alone, although it is also a great ‘blank canvas’ for other flavors!
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