No matter how much I try to come up with a unique or different recipe, I always end up coming back to pasta.
When I first started making my own Alfredo sauce, I was a kid, so I didn’t really know what I was doing. All I knew was that if Ina could make it, so could I. I started with butter and way too much flour in the pan then added milk and whatever processed cheese Mom had in the fridge. And it was SO GOOD.
Correction: It was not good.
I wanted so desperately for it to be creamy and delicious and not seize up the second it started to cool down. Being the kid I was, I pretended it was just that. I pretended that it was the best thing anyone had ever created in the kitchen. I looked past the chalky, grainy texture and I kept telling myself how awesome it was.
Seeing the congealed blob in the fridge the next day didn’t do much for my confidence in the kitchen, but it did make me more determined to create a better, more edible sauce, if we’re being honest here.
Join me in the future now, where my sauce is no longer grainy nor chalky. Its silky, rich and smooth texture is what I wanted to achieve all those years ago. Its creaminess is what makes me keep coming back for more.
I tried to make this recipe as easy as possible, while keeping the number of ingredients to a minimum. This isn’t a recipe you’ll need to make a grocery trip for, because most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen.
The only thing I don’t always have on hand is heavy cream, but it’s not a necessary component (especially if you’re watching your calorie intake). I’ve made this plenty of times without cream and it’s just as good.
I also use linguine for this. As much as I love pasta, fettuccine noodles have always been too thick for me. So any kind of pasta you have is fine.
Start by melting the butter in a skillet or saucepan. Add the flour and cook for just a few minutes. The only reason you’re adding flour is so the sauce thickens. So because we don’t want to actually taste the flour, it’s important that it cooks.
To keep the sauce as smooth as possible, I don’t chop the garlic. I crush a few cloves with the side of my knife and take them out before i’m ready to serve.
Carefully add the milk and cream while whisking out any lumps. Once the sauce thickens, you’ve made a Bechamel sauce (with some garlic). Congrats!
Go ahead and add salt and pepper at this point. Some people will say to wait until you’ve added your cheese, but we’re only adding one kind of cheese here, so it won’t be over salted.
And while we’re talking about cheese, you want a good quality kind. The cheese is the main flavor in the dish so you want it shine through. Grating it straight from the block or wedge is your best option.
The most important step is next. You have to take your pan off the heat before you add the cheese. Remember that grainy sauce from earlier? This is where that happens. You can always put it back on the heat after the cheese starts to melt.
Add those sweet, tangy sun dried tomatoes and you’re done!
30 Minute Alfredo Sauce with Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
- In a medium pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes.
- Slowly add in milk and cream. Whisk out any lumps of flour. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Take pan off the heat and add Parmesan. Once cheese is mostly melted, you can put it back on the heat to keep the sauce warm.
- Remove garlic cloves and stir in tomatoes.