Making this creamy, delicious pasta dish is quite simple! Forget the jarred pasta sauce, making a classic Alfredo Sauce from scratch is not only simple, but requires just a few ingredients. Tossing the fresh sauce with pasta and topping with chicken and parmesan cheese makes for the most wonderful, comforting meal!
Begin Cooking the Pasta
Fill a large stock pot nearly ¾ full with water and add 1 Tbsp of salt. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add 1 lb. of pasta. (A typical package of pasta is 1 lb.) Feel free to add any pasta of your choice – penne, spaghetti, linguini and even tortellini are also good substitutes. Cook the pasta to al-dente according to package directions.
To prevent the pasta from sticking together, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the boiling water while the pasta cooks. Stirring the pasta every couple of minutes will also help ensure the strands separate.
Begin Making the Alfredo Sauce
In a large non-stick skillet, add 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) of butter, and melt over medium-low heat. To the melted butter, add 2 Tbsp. of flour, and whisk. Continue whisking for about 2 minutes as the flour and butter become foamy.
To the foamy butter and flour mixture, add about 1 cup of half and half. (You’ll add more later, but start with about 1 cup.) Continue whisking, about 2 minutes, until the half and half begins to thicken.
To the thickened sauce, add about 1 ½ cups of shredded Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking, as the cheese will begin melting right away.
Purchasing pre-packaged shredded parmesan cheese is a big time saver. However, feel free to shred a wedge of Parmesan cheese. Do the shredding before you start cooking the sauce, and have it at the ready since the sauce cooks quickly.
The last step of making the Alfredo Sauce is adding a couple of fresh ground spices – pepper and nutmeg. These add a very nice depth of flavor to the sauce. Feel free to add these to taste – a typical amount would be approximately ¼ tsp. of pepper and about 1/8 tsp of nutmeg.
Lastly, whisk in another ½ to 1 cup of half and half. Add this to make the sauce smooth and creamy. If you prefer a thicker, cheesy sauce, add less. For a smoother, slightly thinner sauce add more.
Add Cooked Pasta to the Sauce
Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain from water and immediately add to the hot Alfredo Sauce.
Using a pasta utensil, gently toss the cooked pasta in the Alfredo sauce so that the pasta is completely coated.
Top the Pasta with Meat and Shredded Parmesan Cheese
To round out this dish, add your favorite protein, like grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon. Top with additional shredded parmesan cheese and enjoy right away!