This classic butter and cream sauce was invented by an Italian restaurateur in the 1920s. Whether or not to add flour as a thickener is a matter of personal preference — you can leave it out if desired.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 1¼ cups
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
In a small saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Add the flour and blend it into the melted butter, stirring continually until it thickens and forms a roux (3 to 5 minutes).
Increase the heat to medium. Slowly add the cream, stirring with a whisk until the mixture has thickened.
Add the Parmesan cheese and continue stirring with a whisk until the mixture has thickened.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the nutmeg, red pepper flakes, pepper, and basil
Keep warm until the pasta is ready.