There's no cream in this take on alfredo, but the end result is just as rich and silky as its heavier versions—and arguably makes an better final dish since ingredients like cream tend to mask delicate flavors like seafood. So how did we manage to create a creamy (yet cream-less) alfredo? By slowly whisking in butter, cheese, and egg yolk into starchy pasta water, the mixture emulsifies into a sauce that—once tossed with the shrimp, fettuccine, and peas—is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until al dente, about 2 minutes less than package instructions. Add peas during last 15 seconds of cooking. Drain, reserving 2 1/2 cups pasta water and covering to keep warm.

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  • Meanwhile, season shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until golden brown in places and just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

  • In a bowl, slowly whisk 3/4 cup pasta water into egg yolk. Bring another 3/4 cup pasta water to a simmer in skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low until water is steaming hot but no longer simmering; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter until melted. Whisk in cheese, a little at a time, allowing each addition to dissolve before adding more, until smooth. Slowly whisk in yolk mixture.

  • Add pasta and peas; increase heat to medium and cook, tossing a few times, until sauce thickens just enough to evenly coat pasta. Remove from heat; toss in shrimp and any accumulated juices. (If sauce has thickened too much, add more pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time.) Serve with more cheese and pepper.

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