Authentic (and Affordable) Alfredo

Forget the heavy cream-styled recipe you rely on.
This recipe will change everything you thought you knew about Alfredo.


  • 12 ounces fettuccine or other long pasta

  • Kosher salt

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

  • Freshly ground black pepper

4 servings (with leftovers)

When we say authentic, we don’t mean you have to roll your own pasta dough from the grain-field in your backyard. We just mean that this recipe doesn’t need cream to make it creamy. The butter, salted pasta water, and Parmesan will save you money AND taste better. We promise. Just follow the directions and you’ll have authentic pasta, nearly just as fast as if you used pre-made Alfredo sauce out of the jar. THIS IS WORTH IT.



Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente.
(TIP: Try cooking it for 1 minute less than the boxed directions say. You’ll end up with less squish and more stability for the sauce to really cling to.)


Drain the pasta, reserving 2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Set the pasta aside, in a lightly (emphasis on lightly) oiled bowl. Don’t use too much oil though, or the sauce won’t stick to the pasta.


Transfer 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to a large skillet and bring it to a simmer.


Begin whisking in the butter, one chunk at a time, until melted. Be careful not to burn your butter!


Whisking constantly, gradually add cheese, making sure it’s completely melted and incorporated before adding more.


Add the cooked pasta and toss it in the sauce to coat everything with the delicious sauce you just made.  If your sauce is too thick, try adding a little more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce blankets noodles completely.
(TIP: The pasta water is key here. The starches in the water make this a perfect thickening base, and it adds a bit of salty goodness to your final sauce.)


Top this beauty with pepper and more Parmesan cheese, and serve.

You’re done!

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