recipe

Just a handful of ingredients transform into the most perfect, creamy, cheesy pasta.

safety
  • Uses the stovetop
difficulty
  • Intermediate
time
  • 30 minutes
yield
  • Serves 1 to 2

Prepare Ingredients

2 quarts
water
4 ounces
fettuccine or other long-strand pasta
1½ teaspoons
salt
½ cup
grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 tablespoon
unsalted butter
Pinch
pepper (optional)

Gather Cooking Equipment

Large saucepan with lid
Tongs
Ladle
Liquid measuring cup
Colander
1-tablespoon measuring spoon
1 or 2
bowls
1
 
2 quarts
water

In large saucepan, bring water to boil.

 
2
 
4 ounces
fettuccine or other long-strand pasta
1½ teaspoons
salt

Carefully add pasta and salt to boiling water. Use tongs to bend pasta into water (ask an adult for help). Cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente (tender but still a bit chewy), 10 to 12 minutes.

 
3
 

Turn off heat. Use ladle to carefully transfer ¼ cup cooking water to liquid measuring cup. Set colander in sink. Carefully drain pasta in colander (ask an adult for help). Return drained pasta to now-empty saucepan.

 
4
 
½ cup
grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon
unsalted butter

Add cheese, butter, and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking water to saucepan with pasta. Return saucepan to low heat.

 
5
 

Use tongs to toss and stir constantly to combine, about 30 seconds. Turn off heat, cover saucepan, and let pasta sit for 1 minute.

 
6
 

Toss and stir pasta constantly again until sauce thoroughly coats pasta and cheese is melted, about 30 seconds. (If sauce is too thick, thin as needed with remaining cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time.)

 
7
 
Extra Parmesan cheese, for serving
Pinch
pepper (optional)

Transfer pasta to bowl. Sprinkle with extra cheese and pepper (if using). Serve.