Fetuccine Alfredo (Nigel Slater)

Boil 250g of dried fettuccine in deep, heavily salted water until al dente. Put 250ml of double cream in a saucepan with a thick slice of butter and warm over a gentle heat. Grate in a little nutmeg. Stir in a good 100g of grated Parmesan, a generous amount of black pepper, then tip in the lightly drained pasta. Toss gently and serve with more Parmesan if you wish. Serves 2 generously.

The trick

To keep the sauce a perfect texture, add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to the cream. Take care when seasoning – you have salt in the pasta water and salty cheese, so go easy. Cook the pasta until it is just short of how firm you want it to be. It will go on cooking slightly after draining and tossing with the warm sauce. Use freshly grated nutmeg, it is much more subtle than the ready-ground variety.

The twist

The dish is perfect as it is. Twist the recipe too much and you have got something other than Alfredo. But he is unlikely to be turning in his grave if you introduce the wider pappardelle instead, or serve the dish as a side for steak or gammon.

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