The Technique for Very Quick, Very Easy, Restaurant Alfredo Sauce
Exactly how restaurants make it, and extremely versatile
All my non-restaurant friends seem to love restaurant Alfredo sauce, or at least it seems to be quite popular. Fettucini Alfredo, or any type of Alfredo pasta will sell well on most any of menu. This sauce is the reason Olive Garden is so popular (just about every item on their menu not using marinara is some variation on this basic sauce). My parents LOVE the Olive Garden.
Alfredo sauce is one of the easiest and quickest sauces you can possibly make, though it is important to follow certain techniques and use the right ingredients. For Restaurant Alfredo you will need to have your pasta pre-cooked. At most restaurants the pasta is cold at the saute station, but it doesn't really matter whether it is or not as long as it is drained. You will need butter or olive oil, a clove or two of minced garlic, heavy cream, a pinch of salt and a handful of shredded parmesan.
If you want to be a little healthier you could substitute evaporated milk for heavy cream, but you can't substitute regular milk or half and half. Heavy cream is non-homogenized whereas regular milk and half and half is. Homogenization is the process that keeps milk products from settling over time, unfortunately this process is also why milk products curdle if they are brought to a boil. So homogenized products will result in a curdled alfredo sauce...which is undesireable.
I've never tried this over an electric stove. My instinct is that it would not work as well. There is a reason restaurants always cook with gas heat. Also this recipe is for about one serving. You can multiply this to make three servings and possibly a family size portion but if you want to make Fettucinni Alfredo to serve forty you'll have to make your alfredo differently.
In a saute pan over high heat, heat your oil or melt your butter. Add the garlic, then add the heavy cream around the edge of the pan for about a four count (somewhere between a quarter and half a cup) the cream should start to boil instantly (if it doesn't it isn't that big of a deal; your sauce will just take longer). Add a pinch of salt. At this point you should add the pasta and toss it in the heavy cream heating the pasta and reducing the cream. When everything is hot add the parmesan cheese and toss in the pasta until everything is melted and the alfredo sauce is formed. If the sauce becomes too thick add a little more cream and continue the process.
This recipe is very versatile. If you want a garlic cream sauce use more garlic. For a white wine cream sauce add white wine. For Gorganzola Cream sauce use Gorganzola instead of parmesan. At most restaurants I've worked at that serve mac and cheese they use this recipe only they use cheddar, or a cheese blend instead of parmesan.
Note: For large batches of Alfredo make a roux using one part butter and one part flour. Add your garlic and cream and bring to a boil (this is your basic Bechamel Sauce) to thicken. Add salt to taste and your cheese.
Note: If heavy cream settles in your refridgerator it isn't necessarily bad. Just shake it well and it should all mix together again.
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