5-Minute Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo
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As with most sauces originating from Italy, the early version of what we call an Alfredo sauce, is not what we Americans are accustomed to. A twist on cacio e pepe (starch water, pecorino and pepper), the authentic-ish version of Alfredo, called fettuccine al burro (with butter) is made with a generous portion of butter melted with Parmesan.

Where the version made with cream originated is not entirely certain. My guess is that, like with carbonara, some American just added a ton of cream to make it even more unhealthy.

Now, while I'll throw a hissy fit if my carbonara is thickened with cream instead of eggs, I like my Alfredo swimming in thick, velvety cream sauce. I would normally reduce the cream for 40 minutes or so to get the right consistency, but I either grew lazier or smarter, and now use a little flour to speed the process. This sauce really does come together in minutes, but unfortunately, I can’t make the pasta cook sooner!

Technique Tip: Use reserved pasta water to control the creaminess of the sauce.

Swap Option: Use Parmigiano-Reggiano instead of pecorino for a twist. Be sure to adjust the seasoning.


    • 12 ounces spinach fettuccine, cooked just short of al dente in salted water; reserve 1 cup of pasta water
    • 3/4 cup pecorino cheese, grated, plus more for garnish
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • Salt, to taste, if necessary
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
    • 1½ cups heavy cream


1. In a small bowl, mix the cheese, flour and pepper.

2. Add the heavy cream to a high-sided skillet and bring to a gentle simmer, over medium-high heat.

3. Add the cheese mixture and whisk to combine.

4. Allow the cream to return to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

5. Season with salt, as needed.

6. Add the cooked fettuccine to the sauce and toss to combine.

7. Add reserved pasta water, as needed, until you achieve a creamy, velvety sauce.

8. Serve immediately with a some grated pecorino and freshly ground pepper.

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Make the creamiest, dreamiest fettuccine Alfredo in 5 minutes with this simple trick

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