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Paccheri Pasta Alfredo

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My Alfredo sauce is a rich and creamy white sauce, made with nutty Parmesan, tangy and spicy Pecorino Romano, a touch of garlic, butter, heavy whipping cream, pasta water and fresh parsley. Large, tube pasta combines with this savory cheese sauce to make this incredible Paccheri Pasta Alfredo. This pasta dish is so comforting, and perfect as a cold weather meal.

So, ditch the store-bought, jarred alfredo. This pasta recipe is incredibly quick, and easy to prepare. Once you make and serve this decadent, homemade alfredo, you will long to make it, over and over again!

A brown plate filled with Paccheri Pasta Alfredo garnished with parsley and crushed red pepper

WHAT IS PACCHERI PASTA

Originating from Compania, Paccheri pasta is a very large, rigatoni-like pasta. Paccheri pasta is best served with heavier sauces and is often stuffed with ricotta cheese and baked. This wide pasta is also a favorite of Italians when preparing seafood pasta dishes.

Paccheri is so named from the slapping sound made when combining with sauces. Make this, and you will totally get it!

This large tube pasta can be found with, and without ridges. However, smooth Paccheri, is most popular.

Where can I buy Paccheri pasta

Find this pasta at your local Italian market. Honestly, I have never seen this pasta in any of my local grocery stores. You can also find on Amazon. Mezzi Paccheri is the same shape, cut in half.

Can I use another type of pasta in alfredo?

Honestly, traditional pasta alfredo recipes use fettuccine. For me, I like to venture out of the norm. Thus, the creation of this Paccheri Pasta Alfredo.

HOW TO MAKE ALFREDO SAUCE

Here are a few things I love most about alfredo sauce:

  • minimal ingredients
  • quick and easy to prepare
  • rich and creamy texture
  • pairs well with any type of pasta
  • can be modified to include protein (eg. chicken, shrimp)
  • add vegetables to create a beautiful pasta primavera
  • thickness or thinness of the sauce can easily be adjusted

Can you use low fat or half and half in place of the heavy whipping cream

The short answer is, YES! However, the final sauce will be relatively thin. However, you can thicken with a corn starch slurry (this may change the taste a bit), or add a touch of a thicker, creamier cheese like cream cheese, or mascarpone.

Do you have to use both Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses

Absolutely, NOT! In fact, most alfredo sauces are made only using Parmesan.

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST PACCHERI PASTA ALFREDO

Homemade alfredo sauce is so easy to prepare. Honestly, even if this is your first time making this creamy cheese sauce, I guarantee you a perfect outcome using my techniques:

  • prep all of the ingredients prior to starting the recipe
  • timing is everything, start the alfredo sauce after you drop the Paccheri pasta (do NOT forget to salt the pasta water)
  • use quality ingredients (freshly grate the cheese from the block)
  • grate the cheese using a microplane (shredded may not melt properly)
  • do not overpower the dish with garlic (one small clove is all you need)
  • gently infuse the garlic in the olive oil (do NOT brown)
  • slowly incorporate the cheese (adding all the cheese at once may result in a clumpy mess)
  • thin the sauce with a touch more starchy pasta water (I do recommend add a touch of pasta water during preparation)
  • thicken with a touch more cheese and/or heavy whipping cream
  • cook the pasta to al dente (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce)
  • transfer the pasta directly from the pot to the sauce with a slotted spoon
  • if so desired, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper will elevate the flavor
a stainless steel pan filled with Paccheri Pasta Alfredo garnished with fresh parsley

WHAT TO SERVE WITH PACCHERI PASTA ALFREDO

This is one hearty pasta dish. In my opinion, it works great as a standalone meal. Seriously, five pieces of this Paccheri coated in that decadent sauce is a perfect serving size.

However, a small side salad and or steamed vegetables, are great side options. As mentioned earlier, you can also add your favorite protein.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT PACCHERI ALFREDO

Leftover Paccheri Pasta Alfredo can be stored in the fridge for up to two to three days. Alfredo sauce tends to thicken as it cools. So, reheating is best done in a saucepan or pot, on low heat with a touch of heavy whipping cream. Stir often.

Reheat in the microwave, about 50% power, using 30-second intervals. Stir in between.

Transform leftover Pasta Alfredo into a new meal by adding a protein such as chicken or shrimp.

Print
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A brown plate filled with Paccheri Pasta Alfredo garnished with parsley and crushed red pepper

Paccheri Pasta Alfredo


Description

My Alfredo sauce is a rich and creamy white sauce made with nutty Parmesan, tangy and spicy Pecorino Romano, a touch of garlic, butter, heavy whipping cream, pasta water and fresh parsley. Large, tube pasta combines with this savory cheese sauce to make this incredible Paccheri Pasta Alfredo recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 ounces Paccheri pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons pasta water
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for thickening
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tablespoon freshly parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  1. Start boiling water for the pasta.
  2. Prep all of the remaining ingredients (eg. mince the garlic, grate the cheese).
  3. Salt the water for the pasta and add the pasta. STIR so they do not stick together (do this often).
  4. Melt the butter in a deep saucepan on medium to medium-low heat.
  5. Add the minced garlic and infuse in the butter for a minute or, two. (Do NOT brown).
  6. Add the heavy whipping cream. 
  7. Turn up the heat just a touch. Cream will start to thicken. About five minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat. Slowly…a little bit at a time…incorporate the cheese with a whisk. 
  9. Thin or thicken the sauce using my tips in the post.
  10. Transfer the al dente pasta directly into the sauce using a slotted spoon (you may not use all of the pasta).
  11. Gently stir to coat the pasta. Did you hear the slapping sounds???
  12. Garnish with fresh parsley (optional garnish with crushed red pepper).
  13. Serve immediately.
  14. ENJOY!

Notes

  • If replacing the Paccheri with another pasta, timing will change (eg. fresh fettuccine will only take a few minutes to cook…adjust accordingly)
  • SEE POST FOR ADDITIONAL NOTES AND TIPS!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Easy

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving

Keywords: what is Paccheri pasta, how to make pasta alfredo, how to make Paccheri pasta alfredo, what kind of cheese to use in alfredo, easy and quick pasta recipes,

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