Introduction: How to Make Fettuccine Alfredo

Picture of How to Make Fettuccine Alfredo

Quick and easy, super fatty and oh so tasty. Never eat the fast food version again!

I am the biggest Splendid Table fangirl. Recently their email newsletter featured a super simple fettuccine alfredo recipe I just had to try. So here it is, in standard step by step instructa-format - just because I think more people need to know about the goodness of homemade fettuccine alfredo. :D

Step 1: Gather Your Bits and Bobbles!

Picture of Gather Your Bits and Bobbles!
For this recipe, you will need:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 6 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 cups grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

You'll also need a large pot for boiling the pasta, a grater, a strainer, and a large frying or saute pan to toss everything in and melt the butter.

Step 2: Grating the Cheese!

Picture of Grating the Cheese!

I do this the old fashioned way because I lack money for fancy food processors and I like the physcial act of grating the cheese. It smells amazing!

Unwrap your cheese and cut the rind off. Put the rind in a plastic bag. You can keep this in the freezer and use it in soups! I recommend putting it into a herby bean soup - those are the best!

Then, cut your cheese into two smaller pieces if it's especially large.

At this point, either tear off a sheet of parchment paper or use a large plate to set the grater on. That way, you'll be grating onto a surface that will allow you to dump the cheese right into the pot.

So grate away! Eyeball the amount. Use less or more according to your level of cheese desire.

Step 3: Pasta Cooking and Butter Melting.

Picture of Pasta Cooking and Butter Melting.

Fill the big pot with water (I'm using a stockpot) and throw in a couple of generous pinches of salt. Bring this to a boil.

As soon as the water comes to a boil, dump your pasta in. You need to cook the pasta so that it is slightly underdone. You want it to still be able to accept some liquid so that it'll soak up the cream later!

Put the 6 tbs. of butter into the saute pan over medium/low heat and start it melting while the pasta cooks. As soon as it's melted, turn off the heat. You don't want the butter to brown.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and we'll move on to the next step.

Step 4: Making the Sauce!

Picture of Making the Sauce!

When the pasta is draining, reheat the butter. You'll want the heat to be medium high.

Now, turn the pasta into the pan and pour the cream over top. You'll fold this mixture together for a few minutes until the pasta soaks up nearly all of the cream.

Then, add the cheese and fold again. It'll take a little elbow grease to get it all combined.

Once it's combined, taste test and add pepper and salt as desired. I like a ton of pepper on mine. :D

Step 5: Eat!

Picture of Eat!

Enjoy your pasta. :D

And maybe invite some friends or family over to help you finish it off?


quiviran (author)2015-11-07

I have a whole section in my cookbook where the recipe names start "JRF-" Just made JRF Fettuccine Alfredo and it was definitely up to the JRF standard. Fresh ans delicious.

Colonel Hogan (author)2014-09-22

this looks great!

pale_green_fingaz (author)2013-09-21

Looks fabulous. I'd add some snipped chives. I think you need to re-title the recipe "cardiologist's nightmare" though... or perhaps "cardiologist's accountant's dream pasta"!

Orngrimm (author)2012-12-08

Just made it and all i can say is: Mmmmmm! Jummy!

Funny sidestory: I printed out the 'ible and went to the supermarket for the ingredients (Had a completely empty fridge). As i was getting the stuff for this alongside other instructables, i noticed the smiling guy next to me peeking onto my papers...
I looked at him and he smiled back, telling me that normally he sees such prints in the do-it-yourself where he works.
Hehehe! If he only knew where i plan on going this afternoon... :)

stretch mark (author)2008-12-29

Nice food styling!!! Great photos. Food styling is interesting. A lot of fakery. You enjoyed yours. Looks great.

gtoal (author)stretch mark2012-05-26

My favourite fakery is fake cakes iced with fake icing, using silicone caulk, acrylic paint, and corn starch. Makes a convincing icing that sets into a permanent and strong rubber. And has the advantage that multiple layers bond tightly with the layers below so your icing won't break off when you move it. Hmmm. I should probably do an instructable about this :-)

Computothought (author)2011-08-22

Some Italians do not use the cream when making this dish. I do love it with the cream when I make it on occasion.

Keeli (author)Computothought2011-12-22

How do you make it without cream?

Computothought (author)Keeli2011-12-22

You can use evaporated milk or you can to play with t he ration of butter to cheese. Most Italians did not have access to cream. the cream is an American tradition from what I have learned. I have also seen where egg yolks were added for a creaminess.

MariahWeezy123 (author)2011-02-01

I love Italian.

skelly7447 (author)2010-11-07

when i read the ingredients list i had a heart attack

jessyratfink (author)skelly74472010-11-08

Precisely why I've only made it a few times. This is a special occasion type of food. :P

Jake-off (author)2009-12-09

this looks really good. the way my mom makes is is like this but she adds basil and wine to it. its so good

bassclarinet23 (author)2009-11-21


sam (author)2009-11-17

Great Instructable, but can you tell me what % the cream is? I always get confused about what is what. None of the creams at my shops say just "heavy cream" its all "35%" etc. Thanks!

mkinthegarden (author)2009-10-12

WOW!! This was the best. So simple and pure. Excellent instructions, mouth watering pictures and it all worked out exactly as you said. Thank you!

danspec (author)2009-09-18

This might be a little off topic, but that water into the pan shot is really something to be proud of...

Booyaka3 (author)danspec2009-10-09

 I agree 100 % I Think He/She should make another 'ible on how to take amazing shots like that!

1dot21gigaflops (author)2009-09-11

Some Italian sausage and/or grilled chicken would go great with it. I'm a fan of the Johnsonville Italian sausage.

stevec038 (author)2009-07-19

Was making some alfredo and found my cream was bad. Used half a cup of milk and half a cup of "sour cream." Got same consistency, but the sour cream made the cheese taste come alive. Still making it this way. Also have added green peas and chopped chicken to the sauce while cooking. Still good.

shangrilarcadia (author)2009-07-19

This looks delicious. I will have to try this version sometime. I usually use a recipe that is similar - I under cook the pasta in one pot and make the sauce in a different pot, and then finish cooking the pasta in the boiling sauce. What I do differently though is use some chicken stock and the yolk of one egg (it doesn't taste chickeny or eggy, it just adds flavor and creaminess). Try this recipe sometime: 1lb fettucine 1/2 cup butter 1 1/3 heavy cream 1 cup chicken stock 1 egg yolk 1/2 to 1 cup parmesan cheese salt and pepper Undercook the pasta and boil the chicken stock, butter, and cream together. Move the pasta to the boiling sauce and let it soak in and reduce. Finally add the egg yolk and cheese and stir until it's ready. Then put a touch of pepper on top. It is so delish!

Dr. Steel (author)2009-06-02

I love fettuccine alfredo, and I find a recipe for it. Thank you so much! I will be bugging my dad for days for the ingredients to make this >:D

His Own (author)2009-01-26

The pasta looks great. I really like your use of photography in this instructable. You have a good eye and an artistic slant that both come through nicely. Good work.

jessyratfink (author)His Own2009-01-27

Thank you! That's very nice of you to say. :)

kerndone (author)jessyratfink2009-04-11

Its funny to see that comment because I was thinking the exact same thing. It was the water pouring into the pot that finally did it for me; I knew photography was something you enjoyed.

Owenmon (author)2009-03-30

Yummy yum. I'm going to try to make this. And maybe I'll put some chicken in it too. :-)

flipit119_aaa (author)2009-02-19

nothing is better than fresh pasta but if you dont have a pasta make that rolles the dough it is a pain believe me i know from personal experience

Bludbunny (author)2009-02-14

WE tried making the pasta from scratch - TRULY SPECTACULAR!
Nothing like fresh pasta.
Just roll the dough out thin, then flour it, roll it up and cut into thin strips.
Then unroll loosely with some flour - then boil for 3-4 mins. Once you do it this way youll never buy pasta again!

His Own (author)2009-01-30

Jessy, I finally made your dish. I loved it! Just wanted to let you know.

Poppa Chubby (author)2009-01-27

Yum! It's always been one of my favorites (note the "Chubby" moniker). Using this as a starting point, I have at times added smoked salmon, clams, bay shrimp, or scallops. Adding fresh broccoli or spinach is a nice way to add color. You can use other pastas, add pesto sauce at the end, use garlic... Whatever! Alfredo is the perfect platform. Great instructable!

bettbee (author)2009-01-22

Huzzah! This is pretty close to the recipe used by the original Alfredo's in Florence. You may laugh at anyone who suggests using a roux-based cream sauce and calls the result Alfredo. You can make a nice mock-Alfredo that way, but it's not the real deal. Here's a way to make it easier: while your water is coming to the boil, place a stainless steel bowl that is larger than the rim of your pasta pot on top of the pot like a big double boiler. Place your cream and butter in this. The butter will melt and it'll all get warm as the water comes up to a boil. Once you put your pasta in the pot, replace the bowl over it so the cream and butter stay very warm, but this time make sure to put a utensil in between rim and bowl, to prevent boil-over. One thing; cook your pasta all the way, then drain but do not rinse it. (Do not under-cook it, it does not need to absorb the cream. Read on.) It is best to use a pasta pot with a built-in drainer insert, this way you can just lift it up and it drains itself while keeping the hot water in the pot. Replace the bowl over the hot water, dump the pasta into the warm cream and melted butter and immediately add the cheese and stir. It's that simple. No need for a secondary step, just dump the pasta and the cheese in and you are done save the seasoning. It'll thicken and get creamy right away. It will be much creamier and with more sauce than what you see in the pictures here, where you see small particles of cheese. (No offense to original author, but really it can be smoother.) Alfredo should be smooth as silk, no need for added cheese at the table. Part of its allure is its silky texture. There should also be a bit more sauce, you want some liquid sauce in your bowl. I heartily suggest use of the smallest-holed microplane grater to grate your cheese, it will melt in so much quicker with not one unmelted particle left to mar the smoothness. To be truly authentic use white pepper freshly ground as fine as possible. It's just nicer in the dish. There is some thought that a small pinch of nutmeg will enhance the dish; I think that it does. Whether or not this is authentic is contested, but I think this is unimportant because it's such a small tweak - it's up to your taste.

corporatezero35 (author)2009-01-07

This is the same recipe that I have in a cookbook. I added cream cheese to it to give it a thicker texture. about 4oz for each cup of cream.

RedneckAsian (author)2009-01-03


elizabeth.estelle226 (author)2009-01-02

Great contribution, meals from scratch have become increasingly hard to fine, thank you for showing it really isn't hard, and it tastes better and (probably) is better for you than anything you'd buy in a can/jar!

atlstealth09 (author)2008-12-29

blue dishes = lowered appetite. did you choose blue for that reason?

Really? I'll have to Google that.

Nope, I just like the colors. I've studied the whole "science" of colors and food in nutrition classes, though. I have to say the blue did not slow me down at all this time. ;)

YummyPancakes (author)2009-01-01

"And maybe invite some friends or family over to help you finish it off?" Heck no! It's all MINE!!!

YummyPancakes (author)2009-01-01

Oh man, if there's anything I like more than Italian, it's... Italian. I'll try this. And happy new year!

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-12-28

Delicious. The fresh homemade pasta really makes the difference. 5/5*

jessyratfink (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-12-28

It's true - fresh is always nice. I didn't make it myself, but I bought it at a local place. Very good! :D

LinuxH4x0r (author)jessyratfink2008-12-28

My mom bought a noodle maker and it is totally worth it. Its easier than you think.

jessyratfink (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-12-30

Ooh! You shoould ask how much it was. I could probably save a little money by making my own. :)

LinuxH4x0r (author)jessyratfink2008-12-30

Back about 10 years ago they bought it for about $30. Its a nice little Italian machine that rolls it flat and makes both thin and narrow noodle. Make sure you get a hand cranked one.
If you shop around you should be able to find one for about $50 now

BTW its an "Atlas" made in Italy if that helps
Similar one on amazon

jessyratfink (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-12-30

Might try thrift stores, too! Thanks for the help, and thank your mom too. :D

Doctor What (author)2008-12-29

I never knew it was that easy to make! I've got to try this!

caitlinsdad (author)2008-12-28

Yum. Take it to the next level by making it "ala carbonara", you add the richness of eggs and bacon to the sauce. I like to add the BAM by throwing on a bunch of chopped parsley to add color and flavor.

nathangill (author)caitlinsdad2008-12-28

Traditional carbonara doesn't have cream - try it without some time. Instead of the cream, add a ladle of the water you used to cook the noodles. It makes it feel much more light and delicate, but still has lots of flavour.... You won't feel quite so guilty over eating it.

caitlinsdad (author)nathangill2008-12-29

It's one of those things, if you indulge, you might as well go all out. I think traditional also is with some real Italian "bacon" like pancetta.

jessyratfink (author)nathangill2008-12-29

Oh, that sounds really nice too. Maybe I'll try this version next time. I'm sure my other would like it. :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working ... More »
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