One of my favorite guilty pleasure is pasta with parmesan-cream sauce, commonly called Alfredo.
While it's very simple to make, the key to making great pasta Alfredo is using top quality ingredients. Real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is a must, as is high-quality pasta and butter.
You can use any type of pasta you'd like with the recipe, I just happen to like hearty pappardelle.
This dish can be made in a matter of minutes: no longer than it takes to cook the pasta, so make sure you have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before you cook the pasta.
1 stick (8-oz) unsalted butter
1 cup whipping cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. top-quality dried pasta such as pappardelle
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more to pass at the table.
In a large deep-sided sauce pan or skillet, melt the butter.
Add the cream and bring to a simmer.
Add ground black pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper in my Alfredo sauce)
Cook the pasta according to package directions until just al dente
in heavily salted water (2 tablespoons or so).
Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Drain the pasta well.
Add the pasta to the butter-cream sauce and toss well with the cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. If necessary, use the reserved pasta water to loosen the pasta and sauce a bit.
Serve immediately with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table.
Photos by Ted Scheffler