Simple Alfredo Sauce gone horribly wrong

12
10
Joined Dec 10, 2015
I use my phone to pull up recipes. The latest was to make an Alfredo sauce. I got a simple recipe from Allrecipes.com and I followed it *mostly* to the letter:

I put 1/4 cup butter into the pan; melted it and added 1 cup heavy cream and simmered for 5 minutes (stirring occasionally, though the recipe didn't mention stirring). I then added 1/2 cup shredded parmesan and crushed/chopped garlic and whisked quickly.  It was looking great at this point.  My deviation was adding another 1 cup chopped soft Fontina cheese because a reviewer on Allrecipes said that Parmesan is hard and doesn't always completely melt and that they substitute Guyere, but I saw this Fontina in the grocery store which advertised itself as: "smooth, buttery texture melts beautifully" and figured it would do the trick.

I figured I didn't need to shred it since it was a soft cheese and it would probably just make a mess trying to shred it so I chopped it up into pieces the size of the top of my thumb (from the tip to the first joint). The Fontina wasn't playing nice, though, with the creamy concoction it was added to. Admittedly, I did let the heat get too high at some point without constant stirring and maybe I overheated it? At any rate, the more I whisked and tried to salvage it the more it congealed and separated from the rest of the Alfredo and became a congealed lump. The rest of the Alfredo was perfect. So it was basically a perfect Alfredo sauce with a big lumpy thing smooshing around in it.

I am wondering is there anyway I can get the congealed, overcooked Fontina to mix in with the Alfredo when I reheat the leftovers? Or has chemistry dictated it will forever be in this horrendous, lumpy state?

Here is how my Alfredo looked once it had cooled some:
 
3,267
1,157
Joined Jul 13, 2012
Is the one you used? - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/219767/buttery-alfredo-sauce/   if so I don't see any mention of flour in your post.  There is a difference between "shredded" and "grated" parms.  If you are taking it off the block use a micro plane.  You can also use the dried, grated, powdery type of parm.  

Looks like you're suffering more from lack of technique than anything else.  Practice, practice, practice.  There are no "natural born cooks" - cooks are made.  Adapt, improvise, overcome.  Once you learn how ingredients work and work with each other in a context the lights will start going on.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif  
 
Last edited:
2,462
252
Joined Mar 19, 2009
Original Alfredo pasta means fresh thin fettuccine, some of the salted cooking water, butter and a lot of grated parmesan. Nothing else. No gruyere, no fontina, no garlic, no... 
 
3,317
738
Joined May 5, 2010
 
Original Alfredo pasta means fresh thin fettuccine, some of the salted cooking water, butter and a lot of grated parmesan. Nothing else. No gruyere, no fontina, no garlic, no... 
Cream, butter and Parmesan, and  Black Pepper.

Anything else is not authentic Alfredo.
 
3,267
1,157
Joined Jul 13, 2012
 
Original Alfredo pasta means fresh thin fettuccine, some of the salted cooking water, butter and a lot of grated parmesan. Nothing else. No gruyere, no fontina, no garlic, no... 
Ordo is right - I was commenting on the linked recipe.  I don't make it myself I'd rather make carbonara.
 
455
315
Joined Sep 8, 2015
As Mike said, I think it's technique.  I would never add parmesan to a pan while on the heat.  I believe the classic technique is to slowly melt the butter taking care not to let it get too hot and separate, slowly whisk in the cream.  Continue whisking until the mixture is hot.  Remove from heat, drain the pasta and immediately add it to the cream and butter.  Add the cheese and toss to combine.  Serve with black pepper
 
2,462
252
Joined Mar 19, 2009
Check at 2.50 and forgive the verborragic italians. There's a pasta cook and a mantecatore! Mamma mía!

 
2,529
809
Joined Feb 8, 2009
 
Authentic Alfredo contains no flour.
Fake Alfrado does! In the work place cafe that we used to serve low cost meals the Alfredo was thickened with a roux while using a non dairy creamer in a chicken stock. The cheap Clam chowder was also made with non dairy creamer. At that time the specials were $4.50 and the chowder was .95......
 
455
315
Joined Sep 8, 2015
 
 
Authentic Alfredo contains no flour.
Fake Alfrado does! In the work place cafe that we used to serve low cost meals the Alfredo was thickened with a roux while using a non dairy creamer in a chicken stock. The cheap Clam chowder was also made with non dairy creamer. At that time the specials were $4.50 and the chowder was .95......
If I may speak for the entire site, YUCK!
 
984
212
Joined Jun 23, 2015
 
Original Alfredo pasta means fresh thin fettuccine, some of the salted cooking water, butter and a lot of grated parmesan. Nothing else. No gruyere, no fontina, no garlic, no... 
This is correct.  Add cream, flour, or other ingredient and you have made yourself a cheese sauce, not Alfredo.
 
2,462
252
Joined Mar 19, 2009
 
Fake Alfrado does! In the work place cafe that we used to serve low cost meals the Alfredo was thickened with a roux while using a non dairy creamer in a chicken stock. The cheap Clam chowder was also made with non dairy creamer. At that time the specials were $4.50 and the chowder was .95......
Mean Kiwi is checking on you!

 
Last edited:
2,529
809
Joined Feb 8, 2009
 
If I may speak for the entire site, YUCK!
Also used for cheese sauce, and country gravy. You would not believe how many restaurants do this. Don't judge, I build a very profitable business on serving good food and being cost effective.
 
198
15
Joined Sep 28, 2008
Check at 2.50 and forgive the verborragic italians. There's a pasta cook and a mantecatore! Mamma mía!

This is a lovely way of preparing Alfredo. I love how in Italian the "chef" is labelled simply "cuoco" which means "cook."
Interesting that the dish itself seems so simple to prepare. The linguine is barely drained so the pasta water can combine with the butter and cheese on top, and tossed at tableside.

Thanks for the video, and the Italian didn't bother me in the slightest. (On day 40 of duolingo Italian, so it's nice that I can sort of understand what is being spoken.)
 
857
76
Joined May 27, 2013
I dunno. I think you can still use other cheeses, alter the method a bit and still call it Alfredo. 

Why not? It's a "white" sauce with pasta, right? 

As a side note, I have two rabbit fur pillows. One is named Alfredo, the other Coco.

I can post pictures later if anyone is interested. 
 
182
25
Joined Sep 18, 2012
Why do people think the internet is the best place to garner a recipe. It is not!.

There is no cream in Alfredo Sauce nor is the butter premelted. The pasta is egg pasta made with winter hard wheat, European cold sweet butter and a youthful finely grated parmesan Reggiano that is relatively softer than the kind sold by Kraft in the green can. Retain about 3/4 cup of the  hot salted water from the boiled pasta. Toss for three minutes in a hot platter until positively creamy.

This is not the only cheftalk forum on Alfredo. See my previous post : The original thread posted by Katevans74

The technique presented in the  video below is correct except Alfredo is always fettucine never linguine.
 
643
458
Joined Apr 25, 2011
Why do people think the internet is the best place to garner a recipe. It is not!.

There is no cream in Alfredo Sauce nor is the butter premelted. The pasta is egg pasta made with winter hard wheat, European cold sweet butter and a youthful finely grated parmesan Reggiano that is relatively softer than the kind sold by Kraft in the green can. Retain about 3/4 cup of the  hot salted water from the boiled pasta. Toss for three minutes in a hot platter until positively creamy.

This is not the only cheftalk forum on Alfredo. See my previous post : The original thread posted byKatevans74

The technique presented in the  video below is correct except Alfredo is always fettucine never linguine.

I agree that there are many recipies online that are questionable but still think it is a great medium to find them. A smart person looks at many different recipies for the same dish and can figure out the key components and techniques needed to make it.

It is also correct that the version of Alfredo you listed is the original and most authentic, but I think the Americanized version with cream is still an acceptable form. When Alfredo gained popularity in the US in the 50s, they did not have access to the really good butter and parmasean found in Italy so cream needed to be added to reproduce the texture. More people now see that as the true Alfredo versus the original.

as a side note, There is also a school of thought that thinks it is not the ingredients, but the technique of mixing the noodles, butter, and cheese is what makes it Alfredo.

But in the end, if it tastes great, who cares? eat it!
 
12
13
Joined Jun 21, 2015
 
If I may speak for the entire site, YUCK!
  It's only YUCK! to the people who know better. 

  If you're used to eating at the company cafeteria, and can't normally afford to go out to eat at a better level of restaurant, this may be what you perceive as 'normal' and it tastes just fine, maybe it's even a little fancy, because of the name.

  Sadly, I know quite a few peole who would complain that the real thing is 'too rich' or 'not what they thought it was', because they've never had the 'real thing'.

  Remember - to some people, a McD's burger is a treat  <shrug>
 
615
60
Joined Dec 1, 2015
I think it's helpful to reduce 1 c cream to about 2/3 cups, season with salt and pepper and add an additional 1/2 c cream to not make the sauce too thick.  Keep warm.

Cook and drain a pound of fettuccine, saving some of the cooking water.  Add the cream and about 3/4 c parmesan, using the pasta water to thin it out if necessary.  Eat soon as all Alfredo thickens eventually.

I think this is pretty close to the original but user friendly.
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom