The key to this recipe, is the level of freshness of the ingredients you use. The fresher, the better. At the bottom, you will see a picture of a box from the cookbook. Take it seriously. I do, and I am convinced it's the key to alfredo greatness.
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 lb fresh fettuccine
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over high heat, bring the cream and butter to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 minute. Add 6 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan and whisk over low heat until smooth, about 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and season with salt. (Be judicious with the salt. The Parmesan is itself salty, and too much added salt will throw this creamy, sweet sauce out of balance.)
Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, 1-3 minutes, depending on the freshness of the pasta. Drain pasta well.
Put pasta in a warmed, large, shallow bowl. Pour on the sauce and sprinkle with 6 more tablespoons of the cheese. Toss well. Serve immediately. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.
Makes 4 main course or 6 first course servings.
Study this picture (you can on the photo click for full size):