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A classically simple cream sauce.  Rich, indulgent, and absolutely dreamy on pasta, chicken or vegetables!


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups cream
4 oz Parmesan (about 2 cups, freshly grated)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
kosher or sea salt to taste
1 lb pasta (standard grocery store box) up to 1.5 lbs *see note

Optional (see notes): fresh basil, fresh lemon, chicken, broccoli


Heat a large sauce pan to medium heat.  Melt butter and add garlic, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes.  It should be bubbling and cooking, but not boiling and splattering.   Add cream and whisk to combine, bring to a low simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

Turn heat to low and add cheese whisking until smooth.  Parm can be a little slow to melt, so sometimes I whisk and then turn the heat off, put a lid on the pan for a few minutes and come back to stir until smooth.

Toss with hot pasta and add chicken and/or veggies, if desired.


*This actually makes enough sauce to coat up to 1.5 lbs (1.5 boxes) plain noodles OR 1 lb noodles plus some chicken and/or veggies.  I often toss extra “stuff” into ours so I made this recipe extra saucy!  If we don’t add extra stuff, we like having enough extra sauce to be able to dip chunks of bread into so it all works out.

*Totally optional, but a delicious variation is to add fresh lemon juice to taste (just toss it in with the pasta) and fresh chopped basil.

* If pasta sits too long and thickens, simply add a little milk, hot water, or starchy pasta water to thin.