Pasta al burro (Pasta Alfredo)
If you are expecting a bowl of pasta swimming (better described as drowning) in a thick cream sauce, this is not the recipe for you! Pasta al Alfredo is really an unknown dish in Italy. The North American concoction does not align with the fundamentals of authentic Italian cuisine. Actually, nothing about it resembles the authentic original dish which never includes cream, cream cheese, flour, eggs, or milk. Are you gasping? Feeling betrayed? Remember that Italian cuisine is revered for its simplicity and quality ingredients. It rarely relies on elaborate and laborious techniques. Pasta al burro, its proper name, is one of the best representations of true Italian food. With only 3 ingredients, you will be enjoying a dish that many people pay top dollar at authentic Italian restaurants. With these simple instructions, you will take delight in learning how to emulsify Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, butter, and starchy pasta water to re-create an elegant and deeply satisfying pasta al burro. Actually, you are about to have your bubble burst because once you realize how easy it is to make this pasta at home, you will not be able to reckon with the formidable prices at a restaurant. Then again, go ahead. Order it at a restaurant and if it's done properly, then you can take pride in knowing its roots and technique.
Prep Time 5 minutes mins
Cook Time 10 minutes mins
Total Time 15 minutes mins
Course Lunch, Main Course, Pasta
- 280 g Fettucine all'uovo
- 120 g Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly and finely grated
- 20 g Butter, divided in half (good quality, unsalted)
Fill a large pot with cold water and place on high heat on the the stove. Add enough sea salt to make the water taste like the sea...salty.
Once the water comes to a full rolling boil, then add the pasta and stir immediately for a minute. Place lid on pot, slightly ajar as this helps bring the water to a boil sooner. Keep an eye on it because it can easily bubble up and make a mess on your stove. Once the water begins boiling again, remove the lid. Stir occasionally. Follow the instructions on the package for cooking time.
Just before the pasta is done, remove a cup of pasta water and set aside.
Fill a large bowl with some water and heat in a microwave until hot. Remove with oven mitts and discard the water. Dry the bowl.
Lift the pasta from the pot using tongs and place it directly into the heated bowl. Use an oven mitt in one hand to maintain a firm grip on the bowl.
Add the butter. Use the tongs to toss the pasta with the butter while the butter is melting.
Pour a few tablespoons of pasta water as you continue tossing and incorporating air.
Once the butter has melted, add two tablespoons of pasta water along with most of the cheese. Continue tossing with the tongs to incorporate air. As the water, butter, and cheese begin emulsifying, you should begin to see a creamy sauce form.
Add another two tablespoons of pasta water and continue tossing. Add the remaining cheese and continue tossing.
Add one or two more tablespoons of pasta water and continue tossing. The resulting sauce should be creamy and smooth, just barely coating each strand of pasta. Serve immediately, adding a tablespoon of the sauce from the bottom of the bowl.
Keyword butter, Parmigiano Reggiano, pasta