Being the designated home cook or household chef can be tough. You are always expected to hash out great recipes that will satisfy all the cravings of everyone in there.
I, for one, am always tasked to prepare all the meals in the house. And now that I have been doing it for a long time, I think I already know all the ins and outs of basic cooking.
I know which herbs and spices are lacking, and which ingredients should be mixed in first.
Just recently, I have learned how to thicken alfredo sauce. Yup! It sounds a little random, but it has been one of the few struggles I’ve had with cooking pasta dishes. I did a “thorough” research about it so that I can share it with first-timers too. Read on and find out which techniques are best for your meal.
What You Will Need
The following things listed here are very basic. You can easily find them in your kitchen. You no longer have to spend extra just to make sure your alfredo sauce is perfect.
One thing you need to note, though, is that there are a number of different methods you can try. And for every method, there is an ingredient you will need. So basically, it really is trial and error.
With that, you will not need everything on this list. Just choose the one that is readily available and the one that you think will work best. Here they are:
It is basic knowledge that flour always makes the consistency of sauces thicker. This works on all types of sauces for the main dish, dessert, or appetizers.
It is also ideal to add in as it has no taste. You will not have to worry about your dish getting too salty or sweet. However, it is still best to measure how much flour you are going to an add-in. You would not want your alfredo sauce to get too sticky or gooey.
This is another basic kitchen ingredient that is reliable when it comes to thickening. And a lot of people prefer this over flour as it doesn’t spoil the dish easily.
Cornstarch has a thinner powdery feel to it too and you will barely know it’s there in the dish. This will be a good ingredient to use if you plan on reserving some alfredo sauce for the next day.
#3 Egg Yolks
Now, this idea may seem new to most of you. Yes, you read that right. You can use egg yolks to thicken your alfredo sauce. Some people actually prefer this over flour or cornstarch because this is tastier.
It also makes the cream mixture in your alfredo sauce even creamier. The only problem you may encounter is that it is harder to blend in with the sauce. You might see egg yolk strips in it if you do not mix well.
If you’ve been cooking spaghetti and other pasta sauces for a long time, you would know that this works well. Cheese always makes the sauce thicker as it adds creaminess to it.
It adds texture and flavor too. For those who like salty sauces but feel guilty about adding too much salt, the cheese will work wonders.
#5 Pre-packaged Alfredo Sauce
Now you do not have to use this at all if you do not want to. Most people want to have their sauce their way from scratch, and that is totally fine. But if you really cannot seem to find a way to thicken your sauce, go for this.
It will work well if you are in a rush too. These pre-packaged alfredo sauces are definitely thick as they use starch products in it, according to leaf.tv.
How to Thicken Alfredo Sauce
#1 Flour Method
If you are using flour, you have to make sure you have simmered the cream thoroughly first. While simmering, mix 3 tablespoons of flour in a half cup of water. And then pour this mixture in the simmering cream. Stir it until the sauce thickens.
Some people try adding in the flour without water, but that may actually affect the texture of the sauce. The flour might accumulate like powder in the sauce if you do this.
#2 Cornstarch Method
This follows the same step as the flour method. While simmering the cream, add one tablespoon of cornstarch to half a cup of water. And then pour the mixture in the cream. Again, constantly stir the sauce to get the thick consistency.
#3 Egg Yolks Method
Using egg yolks may need a little more work. This is a wet ingredient that you wouldn’t want to eat raw. So, you have to make sure you add it to a hot cream mixture.
However, you also have to make sure it doesn’t burn, so you may want to put out the fire first. And after incorporating the yolks to the cream well, you can bring the sauce to simmer again. This way, the yolk cooks and the sauce thickens more.
#4 Cheese Method
According to the source article mentioned above, it is best to use white cheddar for alfredo. Aside from the fitting taste and flavor, the texture of white cheddar is best to achieve thickness.
To use this, just grate the amount of cheese you want. It will be up to you how much because you decide how thick you want your cream sauce should be.
Make sure the sauce is already boiling when you put the cheese in. And then stir it constantly, as usual.
Believe it or not, other people do not use any of these things on the list. They just simmer the cream well and for long periods and they achieve the thickness they want.
If you are worrying about which one will work best for you, stop. You can just choose one but you can also combine one or two of these methods. Alfredo sauces are not that complicated to do and you can easily remedy it.
Another hack that you could do is using the water in which you cooked your pasta noodles. This water is full of starch that comes from the noodles and this can thicken your cream mixture.
This water is also tasty. Just be careful not to add too much as it can cause blandness or thinness to your sauce.
Aside from white cheddar, parmesan cheese s also suggested by leaf.tv. What you can do here is toss the noodles in the cream mixture after it has simmered.
And while the noodles are hot, add in the grated parmesan cheese. Mix them all up and you will see that the sauce will thicken and coat the noodles well.
So, there you have it! Those are the few easy steps on how to thicken alfredo sauce. Again, let me reiterate that these methods are not there to limit you. You are free to choose one or choose all.
Remember that more than the consistency, the taste and flavor are still the top priorities. Our sources tell us that alfredo sauce is easy to fix. That is actually true. You do not really have to worry about ruining it immediately.
If you think it is too thin, add flour, cornstarch, cheese, or egg yolk. If you think it is too thick, add water. If adding all these ingredients make it bland, add cheese or salt and pepper. It is just a matter of troubleshooting by tasting.
If this is your first time learning about kitchen stuff, let us know if this has helped. Also, if you have any comments, suggestions or inquiries, feel free to air them out below.
We will be glad to hear from you and discuss with you your cooking experiences. Happy cooking!