Basic Cream Sauce With Butter And Parmesan
- 250 g egg-based dried pasta or 1 packet stuffed fresh pasta
- 250 ml single cream
- 25 g unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper or freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs, such as parsley, fennel, coriander or basil (optional)
- Grated zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon (optional)
- #This basic sauce provides the departure point for a variety of other sauces. Stir in some cooked poultry, fish or vegetables as a feast for unexpected guests. Add herbs, nuts or cheese to make a delicious sauce for stuffed pasta. Always dress the pasta in a bowl rather than the pan, because the heat of the pan will dry out dairy-based sauces.# Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, or according to the instructions on the packet. Drain well, reserving 100ml of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan to keep warm.
- Put the cream and butter in a shallow saucepan over low heat. Bring to simmering point, shaking the pan from time to time. Leave to simmer for a few minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Add the Parmesan and pepper or nutmeg and stir.
- Stir the sauce and half of the cooking water into the pasta. Mix until well coated. Add extra water if necessary and stir again. Serve at once with extra Parmesan, herbs and lemon zest, if using.
- Variation: Add 100 g thinly sliced smoked salmon or trout and 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill or fennel to the pasta at the same time as the cream sauce, and stir gently.