This cavatappi alfredo recipe makes an easy, creamy pasta with only five ingredients plus cavatappi and five minutes of active time. Well, maybe slightly more, if you like a LOT of Parmesan cheese.
Read on to follow this cavatappi alfredo recipe for tips and tricks, learn what is cavatappi, and read about the original Alfredo. Or just put a pot of water to boil, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make cavatappi alfredo!
What is cavatappi
Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions and variations
- Sub any short pasta like macaroni or fusilli for the cavatappi. Conchiglie (“seashells”) are perfect to trap the peas. Or use cascatelli, the great pasta shape created by Dan Pashman from the Sporkful podcast.
- Sub steamed broccoli or cauliflower for the peas.
- Chop some cooked bacon, cast-iron chicken breasts, or grilled shrimp and add it to the pasta when you stir in the Parmesan.
- Leave out the peas and add canned pumpkin to the alfredo sauce for a Fall treat.
Step by step
Step 1: Set a medium pot of water over high heat until boiling. Salt the water and then add the cavatappi when it comes to a boil again.
Step 2: Cook the cavatappi until 2 minutes from al dente, then add in the peas. When the cavatappi is cooked, drain both into a strainer.
Step 3: Using the same pot, combine the butter, cream, and nutmeg over medium-low heat until slightly thickened.
Step 4: Add the cavatappi and peas back to the pot and continue to stir over medium-low heat until the pasta is well-coated.
Step 5: Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately with extra Parmesan!
Yes, you could use milk or yogurt, but it won’t be as thick and creamy. You could use milk to make a bechamel-based cheese sauce, but then we’re getting away from the ease of a simple one-pot pasta.
It’s lunchtime, are we drinking already? Just kidding. Definitely white. I might try a viognier, which is often said to be the white wine for red wine lovers.
Alfredo is definitely best eaten immediately, but, if you have to, reheat this cavatappi alfredo very gently on the stove top.
Cream-based sauces will separate if frozen and don’t freeze well. Please scale up and make only as much as you want to eat!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.
- salt, for cooking pasta
- 4 ounce cavatappi or other short pasta
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- ½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- Cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until 2 minutes from al dente, then add in the peas. When the pasta is cooked, drain both into a strainer.salt, for cooking pasta, 4 ounce cavatappi or other short pasta, ½ cup frozen peas
- Using the same pot, combine the butter, cream, and nutmeg over medium-low heat until slightly thickened.1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon heavy cream, 1 pinch nutmeg
- Add the pasta and peas back to the pot and continue to stir over medium-low heat until the pasta is well-coated.
- Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese, as desired.½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
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