Many, many years ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to make an alfredo sauce. And it sucked. Oh, how it sucked! I tried recipe after recipe and it was always the same gritty, nasty stuff…nothing at all like I would order in restaurants.
Then something happened…I got a job waitressing at a fairly upscale restaurant outside of Charlotte, NC. The chefs there made an ah-mazing alfredo sauce. So I did want any self-respecting, desperate person would do…I made nice with the chefs.
Now, they didn’t make a large batch of alfredo at a time, instead they made it to order. And chefs being chefs, they didn’t measure anything so the most I got out of them was this…
- There are only three ingredients….heavy cream, butter and parmesan cheese.
- Melt the butter, add the cream, add the cheese, stir and serve.
So for the next few years, I tinkered and played with it but it just never turned out right. Until one day IT DID. It was like, I had been rushing it all these years because that’s exactly what I had been doing. I was RUSHING IT. You can’t rush good alfredo. It’s a super simple recipe but it’s a process.Follow the process and you will not be sorry.
I will warn you, you may not get it on your first 5 tries. But keep trying! Because it is oh so worth it.
*NOTE* Do NOT use the Kraft grated parmesan in the green container. Trust me.I wasted a lot of time learning that one.
*NOTE* Not all bags of parmesan you buy in the store is parmesan. Crazy, isn’t it!? There was an actual news report about this and I’ve done my own looking. Kraft is notorious for NOT using parmesan in their shredded parmesan. Same with Target brand. Just look on the back of the bag at the ingredients. If the ingredients listed do not say “parmesan cheese” then it’s not. The best one I’ve found is Sargentos.
- 1 stick salted butter (you can use unsalted butter, just remember to add salt to your alfredo)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 5-8 ounces shredded parmesan cheese (I prefer the Sargento’s brand)
- *optional* Cajun seasoning
In a medium sized pot, over medium to medium-high heat, melt butter until it is bubbling. Be careful not to burn it. Stir in cold heavy whipping cream. Keep stirring! Bring to a boil. If you are adding cajun seasoning, add it here. Keep boiling (and stirring) until it reduces down a bit. Slowly add in parmesan cheese, stirring after each addition until it is completely melted. The more cheese you add, the thicker it will be. At this point, drop the temperature down to low and keep stirring for another 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat and put aside for 10-20 minutes. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken.
For timing purposes…once you add the cream, turn your water on for your pasta. When you pull the the alfredo off the heat, add your pasta to the boiling water. Once the pasta is done, your alfredo is done.
I love my alfredo served over a nice Ribeye with sauteed onions.