A few months ago The Goose insisted that he wanted to go someplace ‘fancy’ for lunch. Well, I don’t know about you, but there is no way I am going to head out to a fancy restaurant with a five-year-old. Especially not my five-year-old, who has a hard time sitting in one spot for more than five minutes at a time.
Not wanting to disappoint him, I loaded him in the car and drove us to the fanciest restaurant that I was sure we wouldn’t get kicked out of – Olive Garden. Having never been to a fancy restaurant before, The Goose was in awe. When he saw the servers all wearing ties, the silverware bundled up in cloth napkins, and baskets full of bread sticks on every table, he was happy as could be and declared Olive Garden to be the fanciest restaurant ever.
Now, having been to Olive Garden once, he thinks he’s really something. At least once a week I’ll hear him mention it in passing. He might say something about “Always drinking lemonade when he goes to Olive Garden” or “Olive Garden always has the best bread sticks” or “Whenever me and mommy go to Olive Garden I get to pick my own noodles.” I find it quite funny that just going to a restaurant has made such an impression on him. Though, by the way The Goose talks, I am pretty sure my husband is convinced that we go to Olive Garden for lunch at least once a week…
Other than the ‘fanciness’ of Olive Garden, the one thing that really resonated with The Goose was the pasta with Alfredo sauce. And ever since our visit, he’s been asking me to recreate it at home. And I’ve been trying – I’ve made nearly all of the ‘better than Olive Garden’ Alfredo recipes I’ve found on Pinterest, but some were so complicated – tempering eggs? Nobody has time for that! Or just plain wrong (No! You don’t put Philadelphia Cream Cheese in Alfredo sauce!) So finally, with a little experimenting on my part, I’ve found the perfect recipe for classic Alfredo sauce – with minimal ingredients and just three easy steps.
Classic Alfredo Sauce
1/2 package pasta (I usually use fettuccine noodles)
1 stick of butter
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 1⁄2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried parsley
up to 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
Begin by boiling your pasta according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until just melted. Add the cream, black pepper and nutmeg and bring to a slow simmer.
After the sauce begins to simmer, add the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and stir continuously until the cheese has melted. (Note: If you want a nice, smooth Alfredo sauce do not use the grated Parmesan cheese that comes in the green container at the store. If you do, your sauce will turn out gritty.)
Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water to thin out the Alfredo sauce if it is too thick.
Combine the pasta and the Alfredo sauce, adding some of the pasta water to the sauce, one tablespoon at a time, if it is too thick. Put the pasta in a serving bowl and top with a sprinkled of Parmesan cheese and a bit more parsley.