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Classic fettuccine alfredo is an indulgence. It’s also super easy to make.
Classic Fettuccine Alfredo Is Easy
This is one of those classic Italian pasta dishes that never goes out of style since it’s easy to see why.
First of all, it’s delicious and cheesy. Coming close on the heels of that is that it is also very easy to make.
Yes, there are some commercial sauces that just entail opening a jar or there are quickie alfredo versions that are homemade.
However, the real thing is also very easy to make, so why not do it right and have the classic?
Making The Custard
What you’re actually doing here is making a custard.
When dairy and eggs combine in a sauce, that’s exactly what you’ve got. The last time I made this, it occurred to me that it was just like making the custard for homemade ice cream. The only obvious difference was that one was sweet and the other on savory.
Any time you make custard, it’s important to “temper” the egg(s) so they blend in rather than get scrambled. This is done by heating the milk or cream then whisking a couple of tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg yolks. After that, you whisk that mixture into the hot milk.
There will always be a few little solid bits in the sauce so if you wanted to get it perfectly smooth, then just pour it through a mesh strainer. I don’t think it’s that important for Alfredo sauce. I only do this if I’m making ice cream custard because those bits are kind of gross in ice cream.
Store Bought Or Homemade
Store-bought fettuccine is fine in this. In fact, I’ve used it for years.
Earlier this year, my friend Lillian got me started on homemade pasta. It was an epiphany. I just can’t go back to the store bought. Making your own pasta is pretty easy so if you want to have a go at it, the recipe for the dough is in my asparagus ravioli post.
Classic Fettuccine Alfredo
- 6 oz fresh fettuccine or 4 oz dried (from the box)
- 3 tbs butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano
- 1 egg yolk
- Pinch of salt pepper and nutmeg
- 2 tbs finely chopped parsley
- 4 1/2 oz flour
- 3 oz whole eggs
- Using Store-Bought Pasta--cook according to package directions.
- Making your own pasta--mix the flour and the eggs to form a dough. Turn out on a well-floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Cover in plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then run through a pasta roller to #4 or #5 depending on desired thickness. Then run through the fettuccine cutter, dust with additional flour so it doesn't stick together then set aside (or place in the refrigerator). Use the same cooking method as the kind you buy in the box except fresh pasta will only take about 3 minutes to cook al dente.
- For the sauce--melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the cream, Parmesan, Romano, salt, pepper and nutmeg then heat through. Lightly beat egg yolk then whisk in a couple of tablespoons of the hot liquid then whisk the egg yolk mixture into hot liquid. Cook and stir until the mixture reaches 160F/70C or until it coats the back of a spoon. Cover and keep warm while cooking pasta.
- Drain the cooked pasta and combine it with the sauce. You can add additional Parmesan or Romano if you wish. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.