Fettuccine Alfredo

This dish is a bit of an oddity - although it was invented in Rome by an Italian, it's more commonly found in America, and hardly ever seen on the menus of Italian restaurants in Europe. However, although it's not always respected as a bona fine Italian dish, I've recently been converted because it makes for the most wonderful comfort food - it's a dressed up version of my favourite comfort dish, pasta with cheese. Cream, butter and cheese come together to make a rich, gooey sauce that goes beautifully with tagliatelle or fettucine, plus it's incredibly quick & easy to make. Normally, this dish is made with Parmesan, but I've used a nice mature cheddar as I think it works better with the rich flavours.

100ml double cream
100g salted butter
A big handful of grated mature cheddar, plus more to serve
Freshly ground black pepper
A small handful of fresh parsley
200g tagliatelle or fettucine

Serves 2

First of all, put your pasta on to boil with a good pinch of salt in the water, and set a timer according to the instructions on the packet. When there are only a few minutes left on the timer, start the sauce - put the butter in a small pan on a medium heat, and once it has melted, pour in the cream. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce starts to thicken, then grate in the cheddar and stir until it melts.
Drain the pasta, then return to the pan and pour the sauce over the top. Stir well immediately, as the hot pasta will help thicken up the sauce. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and a generous pinch of freshly-ground black pepper, and wash down with a glass of red wine - the perfect antidote to a gloomy Monday evening.