Fresh fettuccine tossed in butter and Parmesan cheese makes Fettuccine Alfredo or Fettuccine al Burro, a traditional Italian pasta dish. Emulsified cheese forms a creamy sauce that coats the pasta and emulsifies as it melts. This recipe teaches you how to make Gordon Ramsay’s easy homemade Alfredo sauce, plus the history behind fettuccine Alfredo.
Learn from culinary masters such as Gordon Ramsay, Gabriela Cámara, Chef Thomas Keller, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, Alice Waters, etc. With the Annual MasterClass Membership, you can become a better chef.
I’ve used and recommend both cookware sets, the ScanPan 10-Piece Cookware Set and the All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware; both are well-made pans with a solid, heavy bottom, heat fast, and they get the job done. Visit the ScanPan or All-Clad on Amazon.
How to Make Alfredo Sauce?
- In a large skillet over medium heat, combine heavy whipping cream and parmesan cheese.
- Cook the sauce over low heat, occasionally stirring, until it has thickened and has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with your favorite pasta shape and season with salt and pepper.
Alfredo Sauce: What Is It?
Typically, Alfredo sauce consists of parmesan cheese, cream, and butter and is made from Italian-American ingredients. The dish is typically served with fettuccine pasta.
A Brief History of Alfredo Sauce
Italians served Alfredo alla Scrofa at the famous Roman restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa in the 1920s with creamy sauce. Fettuccine Alfredo is made with unsalted butter and aged Parmigiano-Reggiano mixed directly with hot pasta. Fettuccine strands immersed in hot pasta water coat the pasta with butter and cheese, like cacio e Pepe.
Throughout the 19th century, American cooks adapted the Alfredo recipe, thickening their sauces with cream cheese, low-moisture mozzarella, or roux and seasoning them with minced garlic cloves nutmeg, and black pepper.
Compared to the original Alfredo sauce, these Alfredo sauces had a heartier texture and used less expensive cheese. Despite not being true to the original recipe, its addictive richness has made it a favorite pasta sauce.
The Best Way to Use Alfredo Sauce
Unlike the Italian Alfredo sauce served with fettuccine, American-style Alfredo can be served with various delicious pasta shapes and recipes. In fettuccine Alfredo, substitute spaghetti or bucatini for the fettuccine, or use Alfredo sauce to coat any twisty or hollow pasta shape, such as penne or Gemelli.
Although Alfredo sauce is typically paired with mild proteins (grilled chicken Alfredo, shrimp Alfredo), it is delightful with dark green vegetables such as kale and broccoli, whose bitterness balances the richness of the cream sauce. Sauté chopped vegetables separately in olive oil, then combined with pasta and sauce.
How to Make Alfredo Sauce in Three Ways
Alfredo sauce can be made in many ways, and the only thing they all have in common is grated parmesan cheese. Here are the ingredients you will need to make three types of Alfredo sauce:
The original Roman recipe for fettuccine Alfredo uses room-temperature butter and fresh parmesan cheese instead of cooking it on the stovetop.
Traditionally, Alfredo sauce was made by pouring heavy cream into a medium saucepan with grated parmesan cheese and stirring until thickened. With salt and pepper, season to taste.
Alfredo sauce made in the French style is like a mornay sauce (béchamel plus cheese). Still, it is an excellent alternative to traditional Alfredo sauce for making a thick Alfredo sauce for casseroles since it keeps better after reheating. Making a roux or thickening sauce is a process in which butter and flour, are heated together. You can then add cheese and heavy cream to thin the sauce out to your desired consistency.