Alfredo (Basic Cheese Sauce)

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“Alfredo is simple to make -- it's basically cream gravy with a pinch of nutmeg and a bay leaf, then Parmesan cheese added at the end. If you don't have any Parmesan on hand, do try it with different cheeses. I've used Romano, white and/or yellow Cheddar (for a great mac-n-cheese), Muenster, Gouda, and whatever else I've had on hand. For an even creamier sauce, melt in some cream cheese. And definitely experiment with multiple cheeses. Some of the best cheese sauces I've made were with two or three cheeses. Every time I've done any of the above, provided I kept the total cheese amount to a reasonable level (somewhere around a cup or so), it always turns out great. One final note: if you don't have nutmeg or bay leaf, make it anyway. It still tastes good without those.”
5 cups

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Over medium heat, melt butter in large cast iron skillet. Add flour slowly, stirring in with a wire whisk, working out all lumps. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until just light golden brown. Be careful not to cook it too long as this negatively affects the flour's ability to thicken the sauce later. And the opposite is almost as bad ~ not cooking it enough leaves your sauce tasting a little like paste.
  2. Quickly add half and half, being sure to whisk continuously and briskly to work out any lumps before they have time to set. If you're new to making gravy like this, take the pan off the heat and add the half and half more slowly so you have more time to work the lumps out.
  3. Turn heat up to medium high. Add garlic, salt and nutmeg and whisk in well. Add bay leaf (more than one if you like a stronger bay flavor). Cook, stirring often, until sauce has thickened.
  4. Turn off heat. Add grated Parmesan and stir until melted and incorporated throughout.
  5. Serve over pasta or spaghetti squash. You can add all manner of things to this ~ meats like shrimp, chicken, or even pork; or broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, and the like to keep it vegetarian.

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