Fettuccini Alfredo

Creamy and rich, this is the pasta my children beg for. (In fact, my daughter, Lauren, swears she could eat it every day.) And yet there’s nothing childlike about it.

During the 1920s Alfredo di Lelio created Fettuccini Alfredo at his restaurant, Alfredo all’Augusteo, in Rome. Unlike many dishes that were created in the last century, Fettuccini Alfredo remains essentially the same: a combination of butter, heavy cream, lots of freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Diverging from Alfredo’s original recipe, I often add lightly steamed broccoli rabe at the end; it cuts the richness and makes this more of an everyday dish.

Serves 4.

1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking, place the butter, cream, and stock in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese to the sauce, and stir until well blended.

4. Drain the pasta and place it in a large serving bowl. Reserve a little bit of the pasta water in case you need to thin the sauce. Add the sauce to the spaghetti and divide it among four shallow bowls. Serve immediately, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)