The success of this Roman dish depends on first-rate ingredients. If you can find an unsalted European-style butter, such as Plugra (widely available at gourmet groceries), use it here. It has a richer flavor and a lower water content than everyday brands. For the best taste, seek out heavy cream that is not ultrapasteurized. When you buy a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, ask the clerk to cut a wedge fresh from the wheel to make sure it is not too dried out.
In Italy, this luxurious dish is served in small portions as a first course. Try it before a simple main dish of poached or baked fish or grilled meat.
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1 lb. homemade tagliatelle or purchased fresh fettuccine