This thick, white, creamy sauce puts your typical pasta dish over the top! It’s so simple but so indulgent. Rich, creamy, full of Parmesan flavor. Make this sauce for your next pasta night, you won’t believe how easy it is.
I would normally say that I love most Italian dishes, but I’m having a hard time taking this simple sauce recipe from the top spot. For this post, it’s just your basic, creamy Alfredo sauce; but there’s many ways to dress it up. It can be a quick go-to for a week night meal or you can accessorize it with tomatoes or bell peppers to really make it special. Whether you serve it over pasta or add extra ingredients, you can’t go wrong with a great, simple sauce recipe, and this my friends is one of those sauces.
I love Alfredo sauce. It’s simple, indulgent, one of my favorite comfort food type meals. When I set out to make my own homemade recipe, I had no idea how easy it would be. And the ingredients: even easier. You’ll need a little butter, garlic, some white wine (optional), heavy cream, an egg, grated Parmesan cheese, some black pepper, and a little secret ingredient that I’ll reveal below 😉
Even though Alfredo sauce is based on Parmesan cheese flavor, I didn’t want to skimp on undertones (like garlic and black pepper) and I also didn’t want to fall short on a thick, smooth texture.
You’ll also see in the recipe below that I put white wine as an optional ingredient. After your butter has melted, and you’ve sauteed your garlic for a few minutes so it’s translucent and fragrant, this would be the time to add the white wine. Unfortunately I didn’t have any on hand when I made this, and the sauce still came out wonderful. If you do have it on hand, I suggest throwing it in. It will cook down and help enhance flavor. Wine is a great additive to sauce recipes.
For that thick texture, add in a beaten egg. Now don’t just crack an egg and throw it in there, it’ll scramble. And although scrambled eggs are delicious, it’s not want we want in our Alfredo. Once you have the garlic sauteed and add your heavy cream in, mix it all together. Some of the melted butter might get pushed to the top when you add in the heavy cream so you just want to mix all that together so everything is combined. Bring the mixture to medium heat so it gets nice and warm. Now, in a small, separate bowl, crack your egg and beaten it with a fork. Take a spoonful of the warm heavy cream mixture and add it to the beaten egg and mix it together. This is a technique called “tempering”. You bring a small amount of the warm liquid into the egg so when you add it into the sauce it won’t scramble. Once your egg is tempered, add it into the sauce, within a minute or so your sauce will thicken up beautifully.
Now for that secret ingredient. At this point, you’ve melted your better and sauteed your garlic, added white wine if you have it, if not, that’s great too. Added in your heavy cream, stirred it around and brought the heat to medium. Tempered your egg and mixed that in. Added your Parmesan cheese and some back pepper to taste. Now you have a nice, thick Alfredo sauce. So where is the secret ingredient you ask? Nutmeg. That’s right, nutmeg. Just a pinch will do but it really brings everything together. You won’t taste the nutmeg, but this particular spice really enhances any kind of cheese type base. You won’t know it’s there but you can’t go with out it. And a little of this stuff goes a long way, so keep it to just a pinch. Trust me 🙂
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 or 5 garlic cloves - minced
- 3/4 cup white wine (optional)
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 Large Egg - beaten
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- Black Pepper - to taste
- Ground Nutmeg - 1 or 2 pinches (a tiny bit goes a long way)
- 1 lb of Penne pasta (or pasta of your choice)
- Place a large skillet on low-medium heat. Fill a large pot about halfway with water. Salt water and place on medium high heat to bring water to a boil. When water comes to a boil, add in pasta and cook until Al Dente. This can usually take between 8-10 minutes.
- Place butter in skillet and allow it to melt completely. Dice/mince garlic cloves and saute them in the melted butter. Allow them to cook for 2 or 3 minutes so that they are translucent and fragrant. If your adding white wine, you can do it at this point. Add in heavy cream and stir completely to combine with butter, and garlic. Bring temperature to medium heat. Crack the egg into a small bowl and spoon a little of the warm sauce into the bowl with the egg to temper it. Once the egg is tempered you can add it into the sauce, stirring the sauce completely to make sure it is combined. Add in Parmesan cheese and stir. Lower the heat to a simmer and add in black pepper to taste and a pinch or two of ground nutmeg. Remember nutmeg has a very strong flavor and a little goes a long way. Stir sauce together once more.
- Drain pasta completely and pour into a serving dish. Pour sauce over the pasta, covering completely and folding to make sure all the pasta is covered.
- Serve Immediately.
- This sauce recipe makes enough sauce to cover 1lb of pasta. To make a smaller amount simply use 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, 1/3 cup white wine (optional), 2 cups heavy cream, 1 large egg, 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese and season with black pepper and ground nutmeg to taste, also use about half the amount of pasta. Follow the same order of instructions.