What is fettuccine pasta without a good Alfredo sauce? And what is good Alfredo sauce if not whipped up at home, without any cheating? Nothing, right? So, read this post to learn how to make Alfredo sauce which is so much tastier and healthier than the ones available in the market.
Pregnancy has mostly overjoyed couples since times immemorial, mostly because they feel that they are in the process of creating the most glorious thing together! But for Italian boniface, Alfredo di Lelio, his wife’s pregnancy in 1914 had urged him on to create a true gastronomical miracle, which literally went on to create history. Italian cooking was blessed with just another lip smacking delight. It all began when di Lelio’s wife started to find it extremely difficult to keep food down during her gestation days. So, di Lelio went on to add his own touch to the already existing recipe of fettuccine al burro in which butter was first poured onto the serving dish, followed by the boiled thick and flat, ribbon like fettuccine Italian pasta and then another helping of butter was added from top. This double buttering was called doppio burro. But the ingenious di Lelio went on to pour two batches of butter onto the plate before placing the pasta on it and then again another batch from top, thus making it triplo burro or simply, a dish buttered thrice!
He later introduced this Alfredo sauce with fettuccine in his Roman restaurant called “Alfredo alla Scrofa” and what more! People fell in love with it immediately! It was later popularized greatly not only by American visitors in Rome but also by the famous motion pictures couple Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, who happened to eat it on their honeymoon trip.
The earliest Alfredo used cream to thicken the condiment just enough so that one could easily cake the pasta with it by some simple tossing. A dash of pepper was mizzled from top and voila! La pasta era pronta da mangiare! But nowadays, lots of variations of the Alfredo sauce are available in the market and not all of them are gestation-friendly. Besides, one also has to consider the health quotient, that is the degree of threat to the waistline and the cardiac arteries. So, here are some versions of homemade Alfredo sauce along with a low-fat variety. Whip it up at home, as the world knows that nothing tastes better than freshly made homemade food. So, let’s learn how to make Alfredo sauce at home.
Healthy Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipes
While making Alfredo sauce, one has to start by keeping in mind that the consistency has to be just correct. You can neither make a condiment that is so viscid that it cannot coat the pasta uniformly, nor one which is so heavy that it immediately descends to the bottom of the dish. It has to be fluid and light but not in the watery kind of way! Confused? Don’t worry. Just follow any one of these easy Alfredo sauce recipes to the tee and you’ll be good.
Basic Alfredo Sauce with Pasta
Now for about a pound of pasta that can easily suffice a family of 6, you need to gather the following to make the adequate amount of sauce,
- Parmesan cheese, 8.5 oz. (Italian Asiago cheese can also be used)
- Heavy cream, 1¾ cups
- Butter, 6 tbsp. (unsalted variety)
- Salt, 1 tsp.
- Nutmeg, a pinch (freshly crunched)
- Black pepper, to taste (freshly crunched)
In a relatively large cooking pan, add about 1¼ cups of the heavy cream and place this on low heat. Now pour the butter into the cream and begin to stir the mixture. Once the two have optimally blended and a light simmer has started to appear, remove the pan from the stove. At this juncture, you have to cook the pasta al dente and then drain out the water. Now place the pan with the cream concoction back on the stove and add the firmly cooked pasta to it. Stir once to commingle the ingredients. Now pour in the rest of the cream, the Parmesan. Stir continuously. Also add the salt, pepper and the nutmeg. You may add a pinch of sugar if you want. Now, with the help of two spatulas, keep tossing the pasta in the condiment on low heat, until the Parmesan melts and all the components have melded in well enough. Thicken for a minute more to arrive at the desired consistency and then serve hot. Remember, Alfredo sauce has to be consumed hot or the entire preparation will coagulate and become too gooey to enjoy.
Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce
This Alfredo sauce recipe takes not a single second more than the time you’d need to bring a pot of water to boil and is also relatively easier on the coffers! Gather,
- Cream cheese, 8 oz.
- Parmesan cheese, 6 oz. (shredded)
- Milk, 2 cups
- Butter, ½ cup
- Garlic powder, 2 tsp.
- Black pepper, ⅛ tsp.
Place a cooking pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Next add the cream cheese and mizzle the garlic powder from top. Keep stirring until you get a uniform solution, to which you then need to add the grated Parmesan cheese and the freshly ground pepper. Stir well one last time and then turn off the heat. Pour this over the cooked fettuccine or linguini and toss well. Thin with milk helpings as you toss to get the desired consistency. Garnish with some parsley if you like.
Most people also like to play around with the types of cheese they use for their Alfredo sauce. While some like adding mozzarella cheese to their grated Parmesan, others like to trade their Parmesan for a grated combination of aged Dutch Gouda cheese and Romano cheese in a 2:1 ratio.
Alfredo Sauce with Eggs
You must have on you,
- Egg yolks, 6 (whisked)
- Heavy cream, 1½ cups
- Milk, 1½ cups
- Romano cheese, ½ cup (grated)
- Parmesan cheese, ½ cup (grated)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Bring the milk and cream to a light boil in a cooking pan and then stir in both cheese types until you get a smooth solution. Remove from heat. Now add the whipped egg yolks to the milk mixture. Replace the pan on the stove and then allow the solution to thicken, stirring all the while. Take the mixture off the stove when a mild simmer sets in and then let it stand for a bit, unperturbed. When it has reached the thickness you want, season with salt and pepper to serve.
Alfredo Sauce with White Wine
To make this spiced up version of Alfredo, make sure you have,
- Heavy cream, 2 quarts
- Cream cheese, 1 lb. (softened)
- Eschalots, 2 (medium-sized and cubed)
- Parmesan cheese, 4 cups (shredded)
- White wine, 1 cup
- Garlic, 2 tbsp. (minced)
- Tabasco sauce, 2 tsp.
- Herbes de Provence, generous sprinklings
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
In a stewing pot, sauté the eschalots and minced garlic until they soften and then pour in the white wine. Allow the wine to reduce to at least half of the original amount and add the heavy cream at this juncture. Stir until a boil appears and then mix in the cream cheese. Keep stirring the concoction until all is commingled into a smooth, well-blended condiment and then add the Parmesan. Do not stop stirring. Add dollops of the Tabasco, generous sprinklings of the Provençal herbs and finally season with salt and pepper to finish! Can be served atop cooked bow or penne or hair pasta (Capellini or Capelli d’angelo) as well!
Low-fat Alfredo Sauce
Now, for this, one can opt for whole wheat noodles and not the flour-based fettuccine, solely for health consideration. You will need to have on you,
- Fat-free milk, 1 cup
- Cream cheese, ¼ cup
- Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup
- Garlic, 2 tbsp. (crushed)
- Low-fat margarine, 1 tbsp.
- All-purpose flour, 1 tbsp.
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the margarine in a pan and then throw in the crushed garlic. Sauté for a like 45 seconds and once it exudes a garlicky aroma, pour the flour and milk to it. Stir incessantly for the next 1½ minutes and then add the Parmesan and cream cheese. Remember, you have to keep stirring to avoid the formation of lumps. Sprinkle the salt and pepper from top. Once the condiment has thickened to the desired consistency, remove from the stove and toss it well with the noodles! However, you must know that using cornstarch or flour to thicken does alter the aroma of the sauce a little bit. Another healthy tip for this homemade Alfredo sauce would be to use reduced fat cream mingled with 2 tablespoons worth of garlic flavored extra-virgin olive oil, instead of using 1 cup of double cream.
Some people also add minced and sautéed shallots to the cream-butter mixture, along with some minced garlic. Nowadays, one also finds additions such as chopped ham or even prosciutto, bite-sized smoked salmon bits, parboiled bacon, fried and crisped pancetta, cooked shrimp, fried mushrooms and also steamed green peas and asparagus tips. You can either add these to the sauce once it’s done or keep adding them during the tossing procedure. In fact, I love adding skinned chicken breasts which have been cooked in olive oil, with some minced garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Once the meat is done, you can add the Alfredo sauce to it first and then introduce the pasta. These additions make the pasta even more filling, thus making it a sumptuous main course dish. Divine, I must say!
Alfredo Sauce without Cream
To coat a pound of cooked fettuccine, gather,
- Onion, 1 (small, diced)
- Garlic clove, 1 (minced)
- Skim milk, 2 cups
- Chicken/vegetable broth, 1 cup
- Parmesan, ½ cup (freshly grated)
- All-purpose flour, 3 tbsp.
- Extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp.
- Salt, ½ tsp.
- Black pepper, ¼ tsp. (coarsely ground)
Begin by heating the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet. Once sufficiently hot, throw in the garlic clove and onion and sauté until they turn goldish. In the meantime, commingle the other ingredients (barring the Parmesan) in a glass bowl and whisk until smooth. Then pour this concoction in the skillet and stir to combine the paste with the onion and garlic. Once it starts to boil and becomes a little thick, throw in the cheese and keep stirring until you are left with a uniform sauce. Delightful!
Homemade Alfredo sauce doesn’t always have to be served with pasta or noodles. You can steam or even sauté some cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or even beans in butter, which have been cut into bite-sized florets, and pour the sauce on top of these. You can also serve Alfredo sauce with stuffed ravioli for that matter. Even if you aren’t interested in making the low-fat variety of this sauce, just see to it that you do not over indulge in pasta with Alfredo, no matter how much you enjoy Italian cuisine. Once in a while is fine and that is what you should be doing.