Butter, cream, cheese, are all part of this beloved classic sauce. The interpretations can vary widely, somewhere between bland and flat to overly salty and processed tasting due to fillers in place of real cream. I avoid ordering Alfredo in restaurants for that reason, never knowing which side of the spectrum to expect. I like this recipe for its accents of garlic, lemon, and mix of Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Remarkably easy to prepare at home, this simple sauce creates the perfect canvas for all sorts of enhancements like Cedar Plank Grilled Chicken (as shown), Blackened Salmon, sautéed shrimp, or roasted vegetables.
Gluten-Free Option: Use any favorite gluten-free pasta as a substitute for wheat pasta, or try Tinkyada brand if you are uncertain which to use.
6 tablespoons butter
1 whole shallot — minced
2 cloves garlic — minced
1/2 cup Romano cheese — shredded
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano — shredded
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice — freshly squeezed
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon black pepper — freshly ground
1/4 cup parsley — chopped fine
1 pound pasta or gluten-free rice pasta
sea salt — to taste
Cook the pasta in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender; add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add wine and lemon juice and cook until reduced by half. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer or low-boil. Cook until sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Season with pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat. (It is best to salt after adding the cheese to avoid over salting.)
Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid (reserve the other 1/4 cup to thin sauce, if needed). Add the butter-cream mixture, half of the Parmesan, all the Romano, and toss to combine thoroughly. (Thin with pasta water if desired.) Salt to taste.
Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
Note: Grilled chicken, sautéed shrimp, blackened salmon, or roasted vegetables can be served on top of the pasta or combined with the sauce just before tossing with the pasta.