I grew up in New York City and I can still remember the first time that I had fettuccine alfredo. Italian restaurants are plentiful and my family frequented Nick's Pizza on the Upper East Side. Known for their signature spikes bread and wood-fire pizza, Nick's Pizza also has a delicious selection of pasta. When were were out with guests one night my mom put some alfredo on my plate and told me I would enjoy it. From that point on, I fell in love with the creamy and delicious dish that I've now ordered all around the world.
It is probably safe to say that I have ordered Fettuccine Alfredo hundreds of times at this point. I have had many variations and talked to many people who have strong opinions about what should go into the dish. There is a debate whether or not cream should go into the dish (traditionalists will swear against this addition). There is talk of whether garlic should be included or if it should be topped with basil or parsley. As with all recipes I believe that no matter what the schools of thought are surrounding food you should always be able to do what makes you the happiest.
My variation of the dish is a bit untraditional and features garlic, cream, and basil. I must admit that while the dish is known as fettuccine alfredo I often times enjoy this dish best with pasta like angel hair, tagliatelle, or pappardelle. If available, fresh fettuccine makes a world of difference.
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- Serves 4
2 (9) ounces
packs of fresh (like Buitoni or Rana) or 1 lb dried fettuccine
cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups
basil leaves, chopped
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil on high heat. While water is heating prep sauce. Once the pot has come to a rapid boil season heavily with salt and cook pasta one to two minutes shy of package directions (fresh pasta only ever cooks for 1-3 minutes so in this recipe it will cook for only a minute). Your pasta should finish cooking the same time or after your sauce has completed so drop it in the water accordingly.
- Sauce: On a cutting board mince the garlic and chop the basil and set aside.
- In a sauté pan or pot big enough to fit the pasta add your butter and start melting on medium high for one minute. Add the garlic and constantly stir together and cook for 2-3 minutes (the garlic nor butter should brown so adjust your heat to low if necessary).
- Next add your cream, salt, and pepper to the garlic and butter mixture. Turn heat to medium high and constantly stir for 5-7 minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and bubbles form. Once sauce has reached this consistency, add your pasta directly from the pasta pot (if pasta isn't cooked yet, shut off the heat and wait for it to cook).
- Once the pasta and sauce are combined cook for an additional minute and turn off the heat. At this point gradually add your parmesan and basil then stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick add hot pasta water a ladle at a time until the sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Top with parmesan, pepper, and additional basil as desired and enjoy! This dish has a tendency to be quite decadent which makes a lemon wedge a lovely accompaniment too.