This recipe is neither for the faint of heart nor for the food purist. You will not find a classic recipe, a low fat recipe or a complex recipe. I'm just trying to balance things out since my last recipe was so dang healthy.
This is a simple sauce that you can make in a short amount of time. Get crazy with the sauce. Add vegetables, add seafood, add chicken. Use it as a base for a different twist for your next pizza or lasagna. It's so darn simple that it's worth making and throwing in your own special touches. For dinner tonight I simply tossed it with some pasta and served it as a side dish. I found this Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce on Allrecipes. It had decent reviews and looked super easy so I knew I wanted to try it. I made a few slight changes. I made sure to buy a block of Parmesan to grate myself and instead of garlic powder I opted for fresh garlic. I doubled the original recipe so this made about 12 servings. The original recipe also says it makes 4 servings. Definitely closer to 6 meal (not side dish) portion servings. Well for a normal family anyhow. For my family the original recipe would make 6 side dish portion servings.
As you'll recall, I mentioned this recipe is not for the faint of heart. First thing you gotta do is melt some sticks of butter over medium heat. PHEW!!! That's a lot of butter!! My mom tried to talk me into using less but I refused. Alfredo sauce is supposed to be super fattening right??
Next I added in three cloves of freshly crushed garlic to cook a bit as the butter melted all the way down to a liquid state.
Once the butter was completely melted, I added 16 ounces (two small tubs) of room temperature cream cheese.
I used a whisk to break the cream cheese apart and start mixing it in with the butter. Quick word about this whisk. I was at my mom's house making this dish so I was using all of her kitchen supplies. I was leery about this whisk at first. I have a good old fashioned wire whisk at home that's firm. This nylon one was flimsy. Anyone who's used a nylon cake or muffin pan knows what I'm talking about. I should have known better than to doubt the nylon whisk. I love how great my nylon molds work and I fell in love with my mom's nylon whisk! Not only does it execute the job beautifully, there is no worry or concern wasted on scratching your pan. Yay nylon whisk!!!
Look how pretty it looks after the cream cheese has been thoroughly whisked and de-lump-ified. Actually it reminds me of cheesecake batter. Mmmm.... cheesecake. Ok, FOCUS!
Next I slowly whisked in the milk. I used 2% milk with zero issues. I used 4 cups total and initially added half a cup, thoroughly mixed in, added another half cup. About half way through I added more liquid at a time because the risk of lumps had passed.
Next was to add in the freshly grated Parmesan. The original recipe would have called for a cup and a half but I like even numbers so I added two cups total, half a cup at a time. THIS is the time to really make sure you're whisking. I wanted to make sure the Parmesan cheese melted completely into the sauce.
Once the Parmesan seems to be completely incorporated into the sauce, I added three shakes of nutmeg. One of the reviews on Allrecipes mentioned to do so and I figured I'd follow that advice! I also added in some black pepper at this point.
I then cooked and stirred and whisked for about 15 more minutes to allow the sauce to thicken into a nice consistency. Keep in mind that once it cools, as any melted cheese will do, it will thicken up. If this happens and it is too thick to your liking, simply add some hot milk until it returns to the desired consistency.
My biggest critics are the kids and they gave the dish a two thumbs up!! They totally scarfed it down so yes, I would say it was a success. Easy, fast, tasty... yeah, that's about my ideal dish. Oh and I did add a sprinkling of salt to my serving. No one else did but I'm a salt-a-holic. Also, the salt in the water for the pasta wasn't added in the beginning so I'm willing to bet had it been properly salted pasta water, I wouldn't feel the need to add any salt to the final dish.
(Slightly modified from Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce)
doubled = approx 12 servings
1 cup of butter
16 ounces cream cheese
12 ounces of freshly shredded Parmesan
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 cups of 2% milk
1 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of pepper
- Melt butter in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic while melting.
- Add cream cheese, stirring with wire whisk until smooth.
- Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps.
- Stir in Parmesan about 1/2 cup at a time, whisking to maintain smooth texture.
- Sprinkle in nutmeg and pepper.
- Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Toss with hot pasta to serve.