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5 from 14 votes

Fettuccine Alfredo

A decadent sauce made from Parmigiano Reggiano, butter, and starchy pasta water is tossed with fettuccine and topped with more cheese!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound fettuccine pasta
  • 1 stick unsalted butter cubed
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano finely grated, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water might not need it all but reserve just in case
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream optional


  • Fill a large pot with water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt to only 3 inches high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook pasta to al dente and make sure to reserve at least 1 cup of the very starchy pasta water.
  • While pasta is boiling set up a large bowl with the butter, grated cheese, and cream.
  • Place the al dente pasta into the bowl along with a ladle of pasta water. Toss quickly to melt the butter and cheese. If too dry, add more of the reserved pasta water a bit at a time to get the perfect creamy consistency.
  • Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.


  • Very starchy pasta water is key.  Boil pasta with a very small amount of water.  Fill a 6-quart pot no higher than 3 inches for a pound of pasta.
  • Use only 1 tablespoon of kosher salt for the pasta water since an extremely low amount of water is used.
  • Cream makes it better, but if you want traditional alfredo, feel free to omit it.
  • Grana Padano or Reggianato can be substituted for the Parmigiano Reggiano.  Use a 24 month aged or younger cheese.
  • Fettuccine alfredo is best eaten right away so that the emulsion is maintained, but can be saved in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Reheat in a pan or microwave.


Calories: 720kcal | Carbohydrates: 85.1g | Protein: 23.6g | Fat: 33.9g | Saturated Fat: 20.4g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 1014mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2.1g | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 4mg