This easy fettuccine alfredo recipe features a silky smooth sauce made with butter and parmesan cheese, cooked sausage, and lightly wilted spinach. You need less than 20 minutes to make it and there isn’t a splash of cream in sight.
6 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed, use hot or mild sausage
1 pound fettuccine
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about 2 cups), plus extra for serving
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
4 to 5 cups packed baby spinach leaves
Add sausage to a wide skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon until crispy; about 10 minutes. (While the sausage cooks, move on to cooking the pasta.)
Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add one tablespoon of salt and the fettuccine. Cook, stirring once or twice, for 3 minutes less than the suggested cooking time on the package. The pasta will finish cooking when making the sauce. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water then drain pasta.
Add parmesan cheese, butter, spinach, 1 cup of reserved cooking water, and the drained pasta to the skillet with the cooked sausage. Set the skillet over low heat. Use tongs to toss the fettuccine, butter, and cheese around the pan for one minute. Take the pan off of the heat then cover the skillet with a lid. Leave for one minute.
Uncover the skillet, toss the pasta a few more times in the sauce. If the pasta looks dry, add a splash more pasta water. If it looks wet, don’t worry, the pasta absorbs some the extra moisture as it cools.
Serve fettuccine with a few grinds of pepper and a sprinkle of extra parmesan cheese on top.