Brown Butter Fettuccini Alfredo

You know those days when you feel like eating apple pie and bacon for breakfast just because if feels naughty and  you can do it because you’re an adult? This brown butter fettuccini alfredo is kind of one of those recipes. I’ll tell you now that it won’t get the the check-mark of approval from your doctor, but it’s worth it.

Case in point: butter. The shining star of this alfredo sauce is the brown butter we’re using as a base– it’s nutty and aromatic and turns an already good sauce into something worth writing home about. Yes, we’re using a whole stick and I already gave you my disclaimer about it being a less-than-angelic recipe, so I’ll just pretend like I didn’t feel your virtual eyes bug out.

Brown Butter fettuccine Alfredo |

Start by melting down your butter in a large skillet over med-low heat. Finely chop a few cloves of garlic or use a small-tooth grater to do the work for you. My Microplanes are one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Brown Butter fettuccine Alfredo |

Once your butter is all the way melted, toss the garlic in and continue to cook the butter, giving it a stir every few seconds. You’ll notice that it will start to foam up and this is when you want to really start paying attention. As soon as the foam subsides, you’ll start to see the butter solids start to brown. Continue to stir and cook until it’s a nice golden brown color, but no longer. If cooked too long the butter will burn and you’ll exchange that desired nuttiness with black ick, so watch closely.

Brown Butter fettuccine Alfredo |

When the butter is browned, stir in some cream and bring to a simmer. You’ll have fun making fun swirls with the butter as the cream is incorporated.

Brown Butter fettuccine Alfredo |

Let the cream and butter simmer until it’s thickened up a bit to your liking and stir in some fresh parmesan cheese.

Brown Butter fettuccine Alfredo |

Stir until the cheese is melted and add in a pound of cooked fettuccine. If the sauce seems a bit thick, take some of the water the pasta was cooked in and swirl it into the sauce to break it up a bit.

Brown Butter fettuccine Alfredo |

Once all the pasta is coated in the sauce you’re ready to top it with a bit more parmesan cheese, black pepper and to go at it with a fork. Or a pasta server. Or your fist.

Brown Butter fettuccine Alfredo | heatherlikesfood.comI’m just being real, here. :)

Brown Butter Fettuccini Alfredo
Serves: 4-6 Servings
  • ½ C salted butter
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 C Whipping Cream
  • ½- 1 C shredded or shaved fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb fettuccini, cooked with some of the cooking water reserved.
  1. Melt butter over med-low heat in a large skillet and stir in garlic when fully melted.
  2. Continue to cook the butter, stirring frequently. The butter will start to foam and when the foam subsides, look for the butter solids to start turning brown.
  3. When the solids are a nice golden brown, stir in the cream and bring to a simmer for about 3-4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up to your liking.
  4. Stir in parmesan cheese, mixing to combine, followed by the pasta. If the sauce seems thick, thin it with some of the reserved cooking water from the pasta.
  5. Serve with additional parmesan cheese and black pepper.


  1. Sylvie says

    Oh. My. Lawd!

    I could weep with how good this looks. I care not how unhealthy it is. Just toss in some fresh parsley if you want to assuage your guilt. :)

  2. says

    Oh dear.
    Please tell me it’d be okay to make the fettuccini, itself, with eggs and white flour? I have so many eggs…
    Or would whole wheat be better?
    And then, if using fresh fettuccini, should I boil it first? And if the sauce was too thick, could a bit of Chardonnay thin it okay?

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