fettucine alfredo

Orlando Murrin

Serves 2-3, prep 15 mins, cook 10 mins, easy, v

If you're the sort of cook who occasionally hankers for a deeply comforting blow-out of cheese, cream and pasta, then this sumptuous dish from Rome is for you. It's devastatingly simple and utterly satisfying: just the thing for a Saturday evening a deux as the evenings close in.
Italians, and fans of authentic Italian cuisine, may raise a sculpted eyebrow when they observe that my recipe involves clotted cream. This is in fact an ingenious shortcut;


the only other way to achieve the required hit of intense creaminess is to simmer double cream until reduced, which takes longer and doesn't taste as good.
This dish is so full-on that it requires nothing more than a simple green salad to accompany it. If you're feeling particularly self-indulgent, you can divide this into two servings, but it will stretch to three. If you're entertaining friends, this recipe can be easily multiplied, too.

227g tub clotted cream
25g butter (about 2 tbsp)
1 tsp cornflour
100g parmesan, grated
freshly grated nutmeg
250g fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle
snipped chives or chopped parsley, to serve (optional)

In a medium saucepan, stir the clotted cream, butter and cornflour over a low-ish heat and bring to a low simmer. Turn off the heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, put the cheese and nutmeg in a small bowl and add a good grinding of black pepper, then stir everything together (don't add any salt at this stage).

Put the pasta in another pan with 2 tsp salt, pour over some boiling water and cook following pack instructions (usually 3-4 mins). When cooked, scoop some of the cooking water into a heatproof jug or mug and drain the pasta, but not too thoroughly.

Add the pasta to the pan with the clotted cream mixture, then sprinkle over the cheese and gently fold everything together over a low heat using a rubber spatula. When combined, splash in 3 tbsp of the cooking water. At first, the pasta will look wet and sloppy: keep stirring until the water is absorbed and the sauce is glossy. Check the seasoning before transferring to heated bowls. Sprinkle over some chives or parsley, then serve immediately.

good to know: calcium, ridiculously easy

per serving: (3 persons) 898 kcals, fat 67g, saturates 41g, carbs 49g, sugars 4g, fibre 3g, protein 23g, salt 0.8

customise it
This is never going to be a 'healthy’ recipe, but you can throw two or three handfuls of frozen peas into the pasta as it finishes cooking to count towards your 5-a-day.

If this is too rich for you, make the same amount of sauce, but increase the pasta. Adjust at the end by adding a little cooking water if necessary.

Transform it into a carbonara deluxe by stirring in cubes of crisp pancetta.

The best clotted cream of all comes from Trewithen Dairy in Cornwall, which you can order by post. You can now buy West Country clotted cream in supermarkets nationwide, but failing that, simmer 350ml of double cream in a pan for 5-8 mins, stirring frequently until slightly thickened.

For years, I grated parmesan using a box grater or Microplane (my knuckles bear the scars). An Italian friend told me to do it like everyone else in Italy - using a food processor.

Try to use fresh pasta, as the sauce tends to slide off dried pasta.

Good Food Magazine