This easy, classic pasta dish is fast, comforting, and versatile—top it with a variety of things like Porcini-Parmesan Salt, blanched peas, seared and sliced chicken breast, or sautéed mushrooms. To make it, simply heat butter, cream, and Parmesan cheese, then toss cooked fettuccine noodles and a little pasta cooking water in the pan over low heat to create a rich, creamy sauce.

  • Yields: 4 to 6 servings
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 20 mins

Ingredients (6)

  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed


  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir to separate the noodles, and cook according to the package directions until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the cream and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture has come to a simmer. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and the measured pepper and salt and whisk until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat until the pasta is ready.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the fettuccine. Add the noodles to the frying pan and return the pan to low heat. Add 2/3 cup of the reserved pasta water and 1 cup of the remaining Parmesan. Toss with tongs until all of the cheese has melted, adding additional pasta water as needed to reach the desired sauce consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, passing the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan for sprinkling.