Go Back
+ servings
blue plate with fettucine alfredo and basil sprinkled on the plate with a spoon of parmesan, a bowl of cheese and blue polka dot salt and pepper shakers.

Fettuccine with Butter and Cream Sauce

Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 lb pasta I prefer fettuccine or cavatappi
  • 1 cup light cream sometimes labeled 18% cream
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg or a couple of shakes or grates if using fresh.
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese plus a little extra for serving.
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of water (at least 4 qts) to boil. Cook chosen pasta 1 minute less than the package directions suggest. You want it a little less than al dente.
  • Right before the pasta is finished cooking, heat a large skillet over low heat and add cream and butter. Bring to a low simmer until it thickens about 3-4 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon. Turn off the heat.
  • Add the cheese and nutmeg along with the salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
  • Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the cooked pasta.
  • Using tongs, add the pasta to the sauce skillet and toss to coat with the sauce.
  • Add the pasta water as needed a little at a time to keep the sauce loose. Taste for seasoning.
  • Serve immediately and top with extra parmesan or fresh parsley.


Make ahead: The sauce be made ahead the morning you expect to serve it and reheated gently over low heat with a little extra cream if needed. Toss with pasta and pasta water according to step 5 above.
To store/reheat: Refrigerate in a glass container for up to two days. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat with a splash of extra cream or milk and stir until creamy and heated through.