Let me tell you this: Tempting as it is to have a box of macaroni and cheese in the pantry at all times (tempting, yes, and even wise—you never know when pangs requiring the ultimate in comfort will arrive), this pasta, a Lazy Cook's Fettuccine Alfredo, is easier. And more versatile, not only because you can riff on it to your little heart's content, adding tomato paste or crisped pancetta or handfuls of fresh basil, but also because you likely have all of this recipe's hardworking ingredients in your fridge, leftover from previous uses.
What's more, the pasta and the sauce get cooked together, in the same pot, and magically emerge 20 minutes later as a creamy, saucy tangle ready to be heaped into bowls. If that's not comfort food, we don't know what is. It might even knock your favorite, nostalgic boxed stuff aside.
We're assuming you already have salt, freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, but if not, add them to your list too!
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The Game Plan
20 minutes before you want to eat, sauté the minced garlic in a large, olive oil-slicked skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, butter, and milk, and add the pasta. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook for 15 to 18 minutes. Make sure you stir to keep the noodles from sticking.
5 minutes before sitting down, stir in the Parmesan and splash in extra milk if the sauce is too thick. Sprinkle the fresh parsley on top and serve!
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).