The first time I even laid my eyes on fettuccine alfredo was in the lunch line in elementary school. I had my little orange plastic tray with the tiny cup of milk and a bun. At the end of the line there was a huge vat of noodles in what looked like a white sauce. The noodles were overcooked, the sauce was goopy, and it was a salt bomb. I LOVED it of course. I ate up that bowl of noodles like I hadn’t eaten in days. Afterwards, I turned towards my more worldly friend, and asked, “what was that?”
My friend tossed her shiny blonde hair over her shoulder and said, “they called it ‘fettuccine alfredo’ but it doesn’t taste as good as the fettuccine alfredo I’ve had with my parents.” Of course I had to ask her where to get the good stuff. In an ernest voice that only little kids can have, she answered me: the best fettuccine alfredo in the world is at Sizzler!
I’m pretty sure I would have agreed with her then, but nowadays, I’m betting that the best fettuccine alfredo in the world is the one you make at home to share with family, a couple of good friends, or maybe even just your best friend. The truth is, even though there are a multitude of recipes out there for alfredo that call for cream or milk, fettuccine alfredo really only needs three ingredients: pasta, butter and Parmesan cheese.
Since classic fettuccine alfredo is so simple, it’s key to have quality ingredients. First off, the pasta. Bonus points if you make your own pasta (as I did here), but if you’re in a pinch store bought fresh pasta or high end dried pastas will do the trick as well. After you source your pasta, you’ll need some butter. I’m partial to Icelandic butter, when I can get my hands on it. And, of course, the most important ingredient of all: Parmigiano-Reggiano. Three ingredients and you’ve got yourself a quick and delicious dinner!
Classic 3 Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe via Simply Recipes
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 ounces fresh pasta
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- freshly ground pepper
Cook the pasta according to the package. In a heavy bottomed skillet, melt the butter over low heat.
When the fettuccine is cooked, use a pair of tongs to lift the pasta straight from the pot into the skillet filled with the butter. Save the pasta water.
Turn the heat up to medium and use the tongs to swirl around the pasta. Add half the cheese and toss until melted and incorporated into the sauce. Add pasta water, a tablespoon at a time if needed to loosen the sauce. Add the remaining cheese and repeat until each strand of fettuccine is coated.
Serve immediately with freshly ground pepper.