Comfort food at its best, there is something innately satisfying and enriching about pasta drenched in warm melted cheese, butter and cream. Whenever I have a craving for something soothing to feed both the body and the soul, I used to turn to my tried and tested favourite, Fettuccine Alfredo. This cozy dish is the perfect supper, simple and nourishing.
But since I’ve started low carb diets, I drizzle this yummy sauce on my chicken and vegetables or even zucchini noodles, taking low carb diets to a rich and indulgent level. You’ll never feel deprived again on a ketogenic diet with this classic keto alfredo sauce in your recipe files.
Can you really make Alfredo sauce at home? With the unlimited number of recipes online, how do you find the best recipe for Alfredo sauce? How do you thicken Alfredo sauce to the right consistency? I have searched high and low, for the answers. The end result of my culinary experiments is the nugget you seek: the perfect rich and creamy Alfredo sauce recipe for all, whether carb lover or keto buffs.
Fettuccine is a type of pasta that looks like thick flat ribbons. This is tossed in the amazing sauce, famously nicknamed Alfredo after its creator Alfredo Di Lelio, an Italian restaurateur. Created in 1914, the original name of this dish was Fettuccine al triplo burro.
The story goes that Alfredo’s pregnant wife had morning sickness and couldn’t keep anything down. So he created this incredible dish to tempt her into eating more. Keto lovers usually substitute pasta with zucchini or squash noodles.
Shredded cabbage or cauliflower also make great bases to transform this into a low carb and keto friendly recipe. Check out the image of zucchini noodles given below. Now just image topping that with some creamy alfredo sauce. Yum!
Ready within minutes and made using just a few basic ingredients, Alfredo sauce is a very versatile accompaniment for not just pasta, but also tenderloin, steaks, or grilled chicken and much more. The earliest version of the Alfredo sauce used only butter and Parmesan cheese.
In fact, there was no sauce to be made separately. Scalding hot fettuccine was tossed with softened butter and grated Parmesan cheese until the both melted and formed a silky coating on the noodles. Simple, but outrageously delicious!
The difference between the authentic Italian version and its American adaptation is actually heavy cream! This thick cream is what gives the rich smooth feel to the Alfredo sauce that you buy from the stores.
The Basic Ingredients for Alfredo sauce
- Butter – one stick
Use the real stuff, not margarine, olive oil or any other substitute. Regular, salted butter!
- Heavy Cream -2 cups
No, do not use milk, nor half and half. It has to be Heavy Milk Cream!
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – 2 cups
Lots and lots of Parmesan cheese. Not cheddar or mozzarella! Rather than buying the pre-grated version, grate the cheese as you assemble your ingredients. Not only does it taste better, fresh cheese is generally less vulnerable to “seizing. Be patient; resist the temptation to turn up the heat. If the cheese is cooked too fast, the proteins in the cheese coil up and become an unpleasantly hard product that simply refuses to melt and merge into the sauce.
Though I add a little pepper to the butter cream mixture while making the Alfredo sauce, I prefer to sprinkle plenty of freshly ground pepper powder on top of the tossed pasta just before serving it.
Go easy on the salt. The Parmesan cheese adds some saltiness to the sauce. The pasta is also cooked in salty water. But you may still need to add a little more salt to the sauce to make the whole dish taste just perfect.
The Cooking Method for Alfredo Sauce
- Melt the butter
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Alfredo sauce is white in colour, so take care not to overheat the butter and turn it brown.
- Add the Cream
Pour the heavy cream slowly into the hot melted butter. Whisk the mixture continuously as more cream is added. Stir till all the cream is evenly incorporated into the butter.
- Spice it Up
Add the salt and pepper according to your preferences.
- Simmer till thick.
Keep the heat low, the sauce should not boil! You may need to simmer the mixture for around five minutes.
- Put the grated cheese in a bowl
Pour the hot butter cream mixture into the bowl containing the grated Parmesan cheese. Do not stir now. Allow the cheese to melt in the heat. It is important that you don’t add the grated cheese to the saucepan on the stove as this may cause the cheese to become stringy and tough.
- Incorporate the cheese completely
Once the cheese has softened, stir till the mixture becomes smooth and silky. Check the seasoning once more and adjust the salt or pepper. Your rich and creamy Alfredo sauce is ready.
- Carb lovers can also experiment uses various types of pasta like penne or fusilli. Low carb or ketogenic followers can pour this over grilled veggies, barbequed chicken or smoked fish. Sauteed Mushrooms or cauliflower make great side additions.
- Add pieces of cooked chicken or prawns to the the selected base.
- If you are looking for a low calorie recipe, use milk instead of cream. It will be like a watered down version though.
- You can crush a clove of garlic and sauté it in butter before the addition of cream if you want that garlicky flavour. You also consider adding a dash of garlic powder to the prepared sauce.
- Fresh-ground nutmeg adds a distinct flavour to the Alfredo sauce. It is really a personal choice. I keep a sprinkler with nutmeg powder on the table when I serve Fettuccine Alfredo for dinner parties. You can sprinkle it lightly over your dish and toss it lightly on your plate.
- Sprinkle some chopped parsley for garnishing if you like. Frankly, I don’t. I prefer keeping it pure and unadulterated.
I hope you really enjoyed my favourite pasta recipe and the collection of images. I would be most happy to hear how your efforts turned out. Your comments are my encouragement. Remember to share this fabulous Alfredo sauce recipe with your friends and loved ones.
Photo credits: Wild Roots Kitchen, perfectketo, foodgawker.com, enkivillage.com, flickr.com, josephsgourmetpasta.com, stepawayfromthecarbs.com, seriouseats.com, pasta.com, steelehousekitchen.com