Here’s one of those transcendent dishes that lets you reconnect with your primitive foodie instincts. Sit down with a bowl of this and you’ll enter your own private ‘zone’ of buttery, creamy, cheesy bliss. It’s the kind of insanely easy recipe that will be as good as anything you can get in the finest restaurant… as long as you use quality ingredients (and follow my directions, lol.) I added my mark with a big old lemony kick…it cuts the richness and brightens the whole dish up. Lemony Fettuccine Alfredo definitely falls on the decadent side, so it’s not for every day, but let’s just say that any day you do decide to whip this up will be a very memorable day indeed.
Definitely buy the good cheese for this dish. Since the ingredient list is so brief, every one counts. I recently economized on Parmesan cheese and regretted it. I ruined a couple of dinners before I finally had to toss it out. Cheap Parmesan cheese tastes like old socks, while true Parmigiano-Reggiano, which can only be made in Italy, has a nutty, buttery rich flavor and makes everything it touches better. It is expensive, but in a vegetarian dish like this where it is the main player, it’s worth it.
If you want to cut calories by using half and half, you can do that, but you will have to forgo the lemon juice, as it will curdle (the lower the fat in a dairy product, the more likely it is to curdle when you add lemon.) I suggest using lots of lemon zest to achieve a hint of citrus if you go the lower fat route.
- 12 oz fettuccine pasta
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2 cups heavy cream
- juice of 1-2 lemons (I use 2)
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley (reserve some for garnish)
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until just al dente. Be sure to salt your water well!
- Meanwhile melt the butter in a pan over low heat and add the cream. Stir to combine and let it just come to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and stir.
- Add the cheese and stir until it is completely melted. I like to take the pan off the heat to do this. Taste the sauce and add salt, if needed, and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper.
- When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce, along with the parsley. Toss everything well, and serve up immediately, with more parsley for garnish.
Plan to eat this up as soon as you make it, The sauce doesn’t wait around well, and any leftovers will be very difficult to reheat without the sauce separating. That’s usually not a problem because once the loaded fork hits your mouth it will be darn near impossible to stop it until it’s all a pleasant memory.