Finally, after years of trying many recipes and never achieving anything close to yummy Alfredo I have finally, finally found the perfect Alfredo Sauce. In fact, it tastes just like Olive Garden Alfredo sauce if you ask me. It is rich, creamy and absolutely delicious. Sinfully delicious. This is something you make when you have family and friends over to impress them with. I was so greedy to eat it that I didn’t bother to take a picture, so my apologies.
We served ours with Parmesan crusted chicken but you could serve with regular chicken, broccoli, etc or as is. Would also make a great pizza sauce, etc.
Here is the recipe (directions for making leftover Alfredo as good as the first time is at the bottom):
The Perfect Alfredo Sauce
1 1/2 pint (3 cups) heavy cream. (Usually says, “heavy whipping cream”)
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
3 Tablespoons cream cheese ( 1 1/2 ounces)
1 1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves freshly minced garlic
1. In saucepan combine butter, heavy cream and cream cheese
2. Simmer until melted (do not boil), mix well. Add the Parmesan cheese and garlic.
3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on low
4. Season with salt & pepper, if desired (I found no need for salt)
OK, so this sauce is very easy to make but some very simple things can also ruin it.
-Forget about the fat content. If you are going to make this you can’t substitute the butter or heavy cream, etc. Don’t get half & half and don’t use margarine. Buy the quart size of heavy whipping cream and get real butter. Don’t use low fat cream cheese. Retain the leftover heavy cream if you want leftovers the next day.
-I also think the type of Parmesan cheese you use is very important. Most definitely don’t use the Kraft Parmesan cheese that comes in that green can. You’ll have a gritty, nasty mess. My suggestion is to buy the Frigo Parmesan cheese that comes in the green package and is triangle shaped (or any other fresh variety) and grate the cheese yourself. Yes, it takes a little longer but the flavor is worth it. Frigo also has a pre-shredded version but I really recommend shredding it yourself.
- Use fresh garlic and mince it yourself. Fresh is better than the pre-minced refrigerated stuff and the refrigerated stuff is better than garlic powder (which you can use 1 1/2 tsp of instead of fresh).
-The sauce will be thin until it simmers for a long amount of time. I ran into a pinch last night when I made it because I couldn’t get my stove-top to maintain a simmer on low heat. I wound up doing a low boil at almost medium heat for about 5 minutes to thicken the sauce. If you do this you must whisk it constantly to avoid clumping and other yuckiness. The sauce turned out perfect but you have to be careful to avoid burning and clumping the sauce. Your best bet is to bring it to a simmer and then reduce heat but maintain the simmer. I just couldn’t get my stove to do it. No matter what don’t ever turn the heat up above medium and I wouldn’t even use medium. Right below medium is what I had to do to thicken the sauce. Be patient, as long as it is simmering it will thicken. If you need to speed it up turn up the heat a little but whisk constantly. I suggest always using a whisk when you make sauce, not a spoon.
-Don’t salt it before you taste it. The fresh Parmesan has plenty of saltiness to it. Plus my salted butter had enough salt. Taste it first and then decide if it needs salt.
-When you prepare the water for the noodles add a few tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt the water. Otherwise your noodles will stick. Do not over cook or they will get pasty. Drain completely in a colander, do not rinse.
-If you don’t time things right and the noodles are done first you can keep them nice and warm by draining them completely in your colander and then putting the colander (noodles and all) into the empty pot and putting the lid on top of the colander (the lid retains the steam and the steam keeps them warm). I kept my noodles warm and fresh this way for about 15 minutes last night when my noodles were done first.
Leftovers – Just as good as the first time
If you are not going to eat every last morsel you can heat this up the next day and it will be just as good as the day before as long as you do the following:
-On night one don’t combine all the sauce with all the noodles. Instead serve each plate with a pile of noodles and ladle servings of the sauce over each individual plate. Store sauce and noodles separately for the next day.
-To reheat the sauce, add the solid mass to a saucepan. It will be completely solid and that is ok. On low heat, whisk the sauce occasionally until it melts. It will look like a buttery, oily mess and that is ok. The secret to bringing your sauce back is in the fridge. Once the sauce is completely melted add a bit more of heavy cream into your sauce. Just slowly add some and whisk and it will magically turn back to its creamy state. Don’t add too much or you’ll dilute the sauce too much and it will be really thin. Once you’ve added the cream and it looks good continue to heat and whisk. At this time you can turn the heat up a bit and bring it to a simmer again. You won’t need to simmer as long, just long enough to thicken a little. Remember that if you bring the heat close to medium you will need to whisk constantly to avoid clumping.
-To reheat noodles boil a pot of water with olive oil again. No need to salt the water this time. Bring the water to a rapid boil and add the cold noodles to the water and boil for a minute or two. Just enough to get them hot again. Do not overcook. Drain completely.