Fettuccine with Butter and Cheese
Servings: 4 servings
Fettuccine Alfredo consists of four ingredients: Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, butter, fettuccine, and a pinch of salt. No cream. No eggs. Not even any black pepper. The cheese and butter should create a creamy sauce that thoroughly coats each strand of pasta. But this dish has been mucked up over the years with cream, thickeners, and worse. For our back-to-basics version, we limited our ingredient list to five ingredients (we added reserved pasta cooking water—a test kitchen favorite for creating a silky pasta sauce). After many tests, we found that the simplest method yielded the best results: Combine the pasta and sauce ingredients in the pot, stir, let rest, and then stir again before serving in warmed bowls. From Cooks Country Magazine
- 1 1 1 pound fettuccine
- 4 4 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (2 cups), plus extra for serving
- 5 5 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces.
Bring 3 quarts water to boil in a large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook stirring frequently until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return to the pot. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter, reserved cooking water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pot. Set pot over low heat and using tongs, toss and stir vigorously to thoroughly combine, about 1 minute. Remove pot from heat cover, and let pasta sit or 1 minute. Toss pasta vigorously once more so sauce thoroughly coats pasta and any cheese clumps are emulsified into sauce, about 30 seconds. (Mixture may look wet at this point, but pasta will absorb excess moisture as it cools slightly.) extra Parmigiano-Reggiano separately.ls slightly.) Season with salt to taste. Transfer pasta to individual bowls. (Use rubber spatula as needed to remove any clumps of cheese stuck to tongs and bottom of pot.) Serve immediately, passing extra Parmigiano-Reggiano separately.