I love a good alfredo (or any cream-based, really) sauce. Problem with that is, not all of them are good. Despite being Italian, my family doesn’t have a hand-me-down alfredo sauce recipe…so I had to create my own. A few years ago, Billy and I looked at multiple recipes and sort of combined the ones we thought looked good. Since then, we’ve moved away from the recipes and come up with a pretty fool-proof alfredo sauce. It doesn’t hurt that it’s easy as pie, either!

Here’s what you’ll need:
(these measurements are good for one pound of pasta)
– 4 tbsp butter
– about 5 garlic cloves, minced (you can adjust this, based on how much of a garlicy flavor you want)
– salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
– 1/2 cup basil, chiffonade (you can substitute dried basil, just use way less)

This sauce literally takes less time than it takes to cook pasta. Whenever we make this, we don’t even start the sauce until after we’ve dropped the pasta. Usually the timing works out well, but it all depends on the type of pasta you’re cooking.

In a small saucepan, melt two tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and saute the garlic until it just begins to turn brown, two to three minutes. (If you’re using dry basil, add it to the pan at the same time as the garlic in order to release the flavors.) Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. When the garlic begins to turn, add the remaining two tablespoons of butter to the pan and let melt. Once it has melted, pour the heavy cream in. Still over medium-high heat, continue stirring until the mixture just begins to boil. Reduce to simmer and, keeping a close eye on the mixture, continue stirring until the cream begins to thicken.

When the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon, about five minutes, turn off the heat and whisk in the Parmesan and basil. Season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Toss with freshly cooked pasta and serve with warm bread!

Bow Ties with Alfredo

I love, love, love this sauce. It’s not too heavy, but it’s got so much flavor. It’s garlic-y and basil-y and it really hits the spot when you’re craving something different than traditional pasta sauce. It’s so easy to make and really versatile — we add shrimp to it all the time, and it’s delicious. So…feel free to give this a shot and change it up to suit your tastes, it’s a perfect canvas for experimenting!

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