How To Make Homemade Alfredo Sauce

The key to making a creamy alfredo sauce is real butter! Learn how to make this super simple sauce for your favorite pasta dishes.
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Step 1: Simplify Your Ingredients

A traditional alfredo sauce only requires butter, parmesan cheese, and a little bit of pasta water. No need for anything fancy!

Step 2: Reserve Pasta Water

After 12 ounces of fettuccine pasta noodles are finished cooking, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water to include in your sauce. The starchy water is essential to creating a thick, creamy sauce consistency.

Step 3: Keep Your Butter Cold

To create the emulsion needed for a silky sauce, butter should be as cold as possible before adding it to the pan. Keep 1/2 cup unsalted butter in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.

Step 4: Create An Emulsion

Let's get cooking! Pour 1 cup of the reserved pasta water onto a pan over low-medium heat. Slowly whisk in cold butter, one tablespoon at a time, to create an emulsion.

Step 5: Add Grated Cheese

Once the butter and pasta water are well-incorporated, slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of finely-grated parmesan cheese. The tiny bits of cheese melt more evenly in the sauce. The finer the grate, the smoother the sauce.

Step 6: Coat Pasta

Once the cheese is fully emulsified, add cooked pasta to the pan. If your sauce is too thick or dry, add small amounts of your reserved pasta water until you have a smooth, silky sauce coating the noodles.

Step 7: Garnish & Enjoy!

Top your pasta with more grated parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper and enjoy! Ready to get started?