My son is a big fettucine alfredo fan. Restaurant versions are terrifyingly caloric, unnecessarily soaked in cups of cream and cheese, some even enriched with egg yolks. I've come up with a not-so-over-the-top version for him that I actually prefer. I use real cream, but not too much. A little goes a long way.
Nathan likes his as pictured, but if I were making this for myself I'd saute a handful or two of spinach leaves with the garlic. Or a handful of peas would be pretty too (and a bit of diced ham? That's a classic, for good reason, yum.) Fresh herbs are always a delicious finish, or a pinch of truffle salt. Lots of options, all good.
Nathan's Fettucine Alfredo
1/2 lb. dried fettucine (or spaghetti, good with cappelini too)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions. While the pasta cooks, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, then garlic, and gently saute until garlic is tender and about to brown at the edges (do not fully brown the garlic, it will be bitter). Stir in the cream and a generous sprinkle of salt. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring a few times, then remove from heat and set aside. When pasta is done, before draining it, remove 1/3 c. of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and add the cream, Parmesan cheese, pasta cooking water, a sprinkle of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss until sauce is creamy and pasta is coated. Serve immediately.