Fettuccine with Butter and Cheese
Once upon a time, Alfredo sauce was velvety and rich, not stodgy and thick. Could we restore its glory?
Why This Recipe Works
Fettuccine Alfredo consists of four ingredients: Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, butter, fettuccine, and a pinch of salt. No cream. No eggs. Not even any black pepper. The cheese and butter should create a creamy sauce that thoroughly coats each strand of pasta. But this dish has been mucked up over the years with cream, thickeners, and worse. For our back-to-basics version, we limited our ingredient list to five ingredients (we added reserved pasta cooking water—a test kitchen favorite for creating a silky pasta sauce). After many tests, we found that the simplest method yielded the best results: Combine the pasta and sauce ingredients in the pot, stir, let rest, and then stir again before serving in warmed bowls.