Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
-1 Tbsp unsalted butter
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tsp grated lemon zest - I didn't have so used some lemon juice out of the fake lemon and some dried cilantro
-2 tsp all purpose flour
-1 cup milk
-kosher salt - table salt is fine too
-2 Tbsp cream cheese, can use low fat or regular
-3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping - can use fresh and grate it or use the stuff out of the green can
-3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley - didn't have so used dried
-12 ounces fresh fettuccine - or use dried either works IMO
Sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the garlic and lemon zest - cook until the garlic is slightly soft, about 1 minute. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and 3/4 tsp salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minute. Add the cream cheese and parmesan cheese, whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the parsley.
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook till done to your liking. Reserve 1 cup of the water and drain the pasta, returning to the pot.
Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta, gently toss to combine. Add in chicken if using. Add more cooking water as needed to loosen it up. Season with salt. Divide in bowls and top with parmesan and a little cracked pepper.