Any pasta served with Alfredo sauce is one of the most loved dishes in my home. I think this because it is one of the greatest comfort foods of all time. And what’s not to like about butter, cream, and garlic?
I have not met a person who does not like this dish, which makes this a very safe choice when you are not sure what to serve. It’s also very satisfying for the chef, when you see the contentment on everybody’s faces as they are enjoying it.
Originally, in Italy, the sauce was just a combination of butter and Parmesan cheese tossed together with fettuccini noodles (called Pasta al Burro e Parmigiana). But the US versions vary greatly, and usually contain cream as well as other ingredients.
Sometimes different cheeses are used, such as US parmesan vs. Italian Parmesan, or Parmigiano Reggiano. Try them all and pick your favorite (though I think the Italian variety is the best).
I have also used an Argentine cheese called Reggianito, and it, too, was delicious!
Pasta with Alfredo sauce is especially good in the fall and winter, because it is very warm and rich and feels like a big hug when you eat it. But really, it’s so good at any time of year, and on any night of the week.
17.6ouncesdry Italian pasta noodles (1.5 kg)(or fresh noodles are also wonderful)
1tablespooncourse Kosher salt
6large florets of broccoli,cut into bite-sized pieces
4large garlic cloves, sliced(or less, to taste)
2cupsgood quality Italian Parmesan cheesegrated
1small handful flat leaf parsley,chopped and divided
1/4teaspoonfreshly grated nutmeg
sea saltto taste
Freshly ground black pepperto taste
Dried red chili pepper flakes,to taste
In a large pot, boil the water and add the salt.
Add the broccoli and cook until al dente.
When broccoli is finished cooking, remove and set aside, saving the water to cook the noodles.
Bring the same water back to a boil, and cook the pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally. Drain (reserving one cup of the cooking water), and set aside. Toss with a light drizzle of olive oil so the noodles do not stick together.
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter along with the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic and cook until it just starts to smell good and turns a very light golden color. Do not burn the garlic, or your dish will taste bitter.
Slowly stir in the cream and allow it to warm. But do not let it boil, and do not overstir.
Slowly stir in the Parmesan cheese and continue stirring slowly, just until thoroughly melted and combined.
Add the broccoli, half of the parsley, and the nutmeg. Stir, and taste.
Add sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red chili pepper flakes to taste.
Toss the sauce with your pasta in a very large bowl, with a splash of the cooking water to thicken it as needed.
Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining parsley.
Lori was born in southern California and currently resides in Mexico. She is an actress and model who also writes in the fields of nutrition, wellness, and cuisine. Her passions include working as a volunteer with various groups in the rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned and injured animals.