Mary Anne's Creamy Alfredo Sauce

16 ounces fettuccine

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-2 shallots, minced

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, or more for a cheesier taste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Grilled chicken, optional

-Cook the fettuccine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

-While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute until tender. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

-Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture and half of the Parmesan and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Note: You can take it up a notch by adding parboiled broccoli, scallops, grilled chicken sprinkled with Greek or poultry seasoning, grilled shrimp, white wine, onions instead of shallots, mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, garlic, diced red, yellow or bell peppers, and artichoke hearts.

Note: You can marinate the shrimp or scallops in a light coating of chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil for about one hour in the refrigerator and then toss on the grill for about 3 minutes a side. Serve on top of the Creamy Alfredo Sauce.