(Anything But) Simple Alfredo


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • Salt, if desired
  • Pasta water, if available


  1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and cook until aromatic.
  2. Sprinkle flour over butter and garlic. Using a whisk, stir continuously until mixture begins to brown and the roux no longer smells like flour (you're going for a slightly nutty scent).
  3. Add half and half to mixture, whisking continually. Add Parmesan and whisk until completely melted.
  4. If available, add about 1/3 cup of starchy pasta water to pan. If no pasta water is available, tap water can be used โ€“ but pasta water will give your sauce the most gloss and best texture.
  5. Serve as desired.


  • Goes well with nearly any hot pasta dish, but is particularly nice over tortellini and very wide pasta such as fettuccine
  • Can be used to toss cold pasta dishes as well, although the sauce should be thinned out to prevent clumping
  • Use as a sauce for white pizza, such as with the Bacon and Spinach White Pizza