This version of Fettuccine Alfredo is made completely from pantry ingredients. It’s quick and delicious and is great when you need a pasta sauce in a flash.
Fettucine Alfredo is such a well-loved dish. Why is that? Because it’s creamy and flavorful while also being uncomplicated. This version is even less complicated than most because it uses pantry ingredients.
First things first, there is no meat or protein in this recipe. If you have some cooked chicken or shrimp or bacon or kielbasa or sausages or anything like that, simply heat it up and add it at the end when you’re tossing together the pasta and sauce. If you want to keep it vegetarian, you can add some canned cannellini beans or chickpeas (drained).
Now, how on earth are we taking a sauce that is usually made of butter and cream and cheese and making it from the pantry? It’s actually pretty simple!
We’ve substituted olive oil for the butter. You get a less rich taste but the olive oil is so deeply Italian in spirit that it still tastes authentic and so good.
Then, we’ve used canned evaporated milk instead of cream. If you’ve never cooked with evaporated milk before, I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. It’s really really creamy and versatile. I always have a couple of cans of it in my pantry for if I need something creamy and don’t have fresh cream. It’s wonderful drizzled into soups and stews and all kinds of sauces to add richness and creamy flavor.
And then there’s the cheese. If you have a wedge of real Parmesan cheese in your fridge, absolutely grate that and use it. It’s the best. But if you instead have a container of that shelf-stable grated Parmesan (the really fine powdery stuff) unopened in your pantry, or opened and sitting in the door of your fridge, it’s going to work just fine here. It’s got a ton of flavor and does a great job in this sauce.
That’s pretty much it. You’ve got some flour in there to thicken the sauce, and some garlic, salt, and pepper to flavor it up. Toss in your hot cooked noodles and there you have it! Fettuccine Alfredo using only pantry stables. Yum!
- 12 oz. uncooked fettuccine
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ⅛ tsp. nutmeg (optional)
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Cook the fettuccine according to package instructions, except just before draining, scoop out ½ cup of the hot water and set it aside for later. Drain pasta.
- While pasta is cooking, measure the olive oil into a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour until it’s a smooth paste.
- Drizzle in the evaporated milk a little bit at a time, whisking continuously to keep it smooth. Keep whisking until all the evaporated milk is added.
- Set the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened and bubbling. Reduce heat to low. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (if using).
- Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Add the cooked fettuccine to the sauce. Stir to combine. Drizzle in a little bit of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick or isn’t coating the noodles well.
- Serve with additional Parmesan on the side.