When you make a simple dish with just a few ingredients like Fettucine Alfredo which is essentially just pasta, cream, cheese and butter, you need to buy the finest pasta or you will question what this dish is about. Another important thing is to have a warm bowl ready to serve it – otherwise the sauce will congeal and the pasta will be unattractive to eat. Make this dish just before you serve it.
Serves 4 (recipe halves easily)
14g salt (for the pasta water)
400g fresh fettucine (use dried fettucine if you need to)
For the Alfredo Sauce:
250ml single or double cream
2 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground black pepper
60g Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Bring 2 litres of water to the boil and add the 14g salt. When the water comes to the boil, add the fresh pasta (or dried if using), stir and cook according to the pack instructions or until the pasta is al dente.
2. Meanwhile make the Alfredo Sauce. Heat 200ml of the cream with the butter over a gentle heat until it is reduced by a third. Take the pan off the heat, add the last 50ml of cream and season with freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, leaving a few teaspoons of the pasta water in the saucepan. Reheat the cream sauce, add the cooked pasta, a little of the hot pasta water, the grated Parmesan and a grating of nutmeg. Toss and serve in a warm bowl immediately.
How to warm a Pasta Bowl
– Put the bowl in a low oven for ten minutes if it is heat-proof. If not, pour boiling water into the serving bowl (or small bowls) and discard it, wiping the bowls dry just before adding the hot pasta. It really makes a difference in terms of maintaining the texture of the dish when you are making a cream-based sauce like Fettucine Alfredo or an egg-based sauce like Spaghetti Carbonara as it stops the sauce congealing.
How much pasta do you need?
100g of dried or fresh pasta per person is suitable when you are serving pasta as a main course. 50g is perfect if you are serving pasta before a meat dish. You can easily reduce this recipe to suit 2 people.
How long does it take to cook the pasta?
Fresh pasta takes about six minutes to cook but check the pack instructions – dried pasta takes approximately 9 minutes to cook al dente.