Rich, creamy Alfredo sauce is one of those little kitchen miracles: a luxurious dish that tastes decadent but comes together in mere minutes. Invented in Rome during the 1920s, it’s no surprise that this Italian classic—which requires only simple, everyday ingredients—quickly became an American staple. While Alfredo sauce is most traditionally tossed with a long tender pasta, like fettuccine, it can also serve as a versatile and easy way to add a bit of creaminess to any number of dishes. Try it drizzled over pizza in place of tomato sauce, baked into a comforting lasagna or fall casserole, or even spooned over a rustic dish of roasted vegetables. Because the recipe is so simple, all of the ingredients should be chosen with care—especially the cheese. If you can afford to, splurge for a block of full-flavored imported Parmigiano-Reggiano. And remember: pre-grated Parmesan will never yield the same depth and freshness as the hand-grated version—so this is one instance where a few minutes of extra labor yields a big payoff.