Fettuccine Alfredo

Get ready for another diet-buster! We made this recipe just about a year ago for the first time and while I didn’t photograph it for blogging, I filed it away in the back of my mind as one of the best fettuccine alfredo recipes I’ve ever had.  We haven’t made it again in the last year because the three main ingredients in the sauce are heavy cream, half-and-half, and Parmesan cheese – not quite a zip-up-my-skinny-jeans-friendly meal, but definitely one that deserves to pulled up from the archives on a rare occasion.  And I’m so glad we pulled this out back last week because it really is so deserving to be blogged and shared.  The sauce is just as thick and creamy as you would hope and it coats the pasta like the two were MFEO. Get the Sleepless in Seattle reference?  Yeah, this dish is definitely worthy of a good chick flick night – maybe the next one with your girlfriends?


Fettuccine Alfredo
source: slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via Pink Parsley
serves 2-3 as a main course

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 9 ounces fresh or dried fettuccine
  • 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Bring 4 1/2 quarts of water to a boil, covered, in a stockpot or dutch oven.  Using a ladle, fill serving bowls with boiling water.  Set bowls aside.
  2. As water is coming to a boil, heat 1 cup of heavy cream and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and gently simmer until the mixture has reduced to about 2/3 cup, 12-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in half and half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the boiling water and add pasta.  Cook until just shy of al dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water and drain pasta.
  4. Return cream to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to low again and add the pasta, Parmesan, and nutmeg.  Toss gently with tongs to coat the pasta, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the reserved pasta water.  At this point the sauce might seem to thin, but it will thicken as it begins to cool and is served.
  5. Quickly pour out the water from the serving bowls, dry the bowls, and divide pasta and sauce among them.  Serve immediately.


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Leave a Comment

  • January 17, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    mmmm fettuccine alfredo. so freaking good.

  • January 17, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    This looks like an amazing comfort food dish! Diet out the window! 😉

  • January 17, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    This looks amazing. If I wasn’t trying to get back on track with the healthy eating, this would definitely go on my to-make list asap. Thanks for sharing!

  • January 17, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Oh I wish we had that for dinner!

  • January 18, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    Are you trying to reck our diets?? This looks too good to pass up! I’ll start the diet tomorrow..

  • January 18, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    If you say this is the best alfredo sauce, I will give this a try. Recipe saved.

  • January 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    This looks SO good! I need to try it.

  • Denise
    January 23, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I made this last night (but doubled the recipe for my huge fam) and it was fantastic! I added a few slices of grilled chicken on top of the masterpiece to get a little protein in and it turned out great. I think I may add a clove of garlic and couple ounces of cream cheese next time, to experiment a little, but it’s really fantastic as is.