Nothing beats pasta when it comes to real fast food. But we’ve become so dependent on jarred sauces, it’s easy to forget how simple it is to dress freshly cooked pasta yourself – there are a ton of options that take less time than it takes for the pasta itself to cook, meaning you can have a real meal on the table in under 10 minutes. 15, if you count the time it takes for your pot of water to come to a boil. Which is a very good thing when you have a hungry brood to feed and very little time in which to do it. Lets face it: most kids adore pasta, particularly the simple, creamy kind.
Case in point: fettuccine Alfredo. There are so many ways to cook pasta, it’s funny how often I forget the classics like fettuccine Alfredo, and how simple it is to make from scratch. (Perhaps I’ve blocked it from my memory, knowing it’s the butter, cream and cheese that makes it so easy and delicious.) It’s my husband’s favorite – the exotic dish he first ordered at a fancy Italian restaurant back when we were dating and went out with my parents. To this day he orders it when we go out for pasta, despite its simplicity – it’s something we could easily make at home. But good fettuccine Alfredo – and it had better be fantastic with all that butter and cream – is a thing of beauty. It also takes on additions very well – try adding green peas, steamed asparagus, or cooked shrimp.
Classic Fettuccine Alfredo
350 g fresh or 250 g dried fettuccine noodles
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
freshly ground black pepper (optional)
In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions. (For fresh you’ll likely need 7-8 minutes; dried will take 10-12.) Drain well.
Meanwhile, in a shallow skillet or small saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the cream and Parmesan and stir until melted and smooth. That’s it.
Toss the drained pasta with the sauce and season with pepper. Serve immediately, with extra grated cheese. Serves 4.