Fettucini Alfredo – Origin, Recipe, Tips for Cooking The Real Pasta

Fettucini Alfredo

Everyone is raving about this Romanian meal, Fettucini Alfredo. Classic yet simple to make, a meal woven with love, creaminess, and warmth to the taste bud. A beloved pasta dish to die for, well, except for the health nut. What is with this Fettuccine Alfredo that has made it everyone’s beloved? Where does this delectable meal originate from? And how can you achieve the real deal right at the comfort of your home? Look no further! This article explores everything you need to know about Fettuccine Alfredo.

 Origin of Fettuccine Alfredo

First off, let’s start with the correct spelling of the name. It’s spelled Fettuccine Alfredo and not Fettucini Alfredo which means it is with “E” at the final.

Now, what’s with the name “Alfredo? This is one delicious meal named after a person and that is where the story of its origin begins. Its origins trace back to the early 20th century in Rome, Italy. It all begins with Alfredo di Lelio, a Roman restaurateur who created the dish in 1914. According to culinary lore, Alfredo’s wife, Ines, was struggling with a loss of appetite following the birth of their first child.

To help her regain her strength, Alfredo prepared a simple yet rich pasta dish using fettuccine, butter, and Parmesan cheese. The creamy, comforting nature of the dish not only pleased his wife but also kickstarted the journey of what would become a one-of-its-kind culinary creation.

How did Fettuccine Alfredo Became Popular?

Here is one dish that has earned global admiration and graced international menus. fame skyrocketed in the United States for instance, when Hollywood stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks delve into this delicacy. During their honeymoon in Rome in the 1920s, the couple dined at Alfredo’s restaurant, “Alfredo alla Scrofa.” They were so enchanted by the dish that they became not only a fan but also an advocate of the delicious pasta in the United States, where it quickly gained popularity.

Over the years, Fettuccine Alfredo became a beloved dish in Italian-American cuisine, particularly in the United States. However, there have been different variations as countries adapt the meal to their culture or preferences. The Americanized version includes a lot of creams and maybe parsley. Although delicious as well, it’s not like the real Fettuccine Alfredo that only requires a few ingredients.

The dish’s simplicity, relying on the quality of its few ingredients, demonstrates the traditional Italian cooking style and that’s what we love.

So, What are the Authentic Ingredients?

The main recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo is surprisingly straightforward, with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients. Here is the traditional recipe:

  • 12 oz (340g) fresh fettuccine
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (200g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salt (optional)

How to Prepare and Cook Fettuccine Alfredo

  • Cook the Pasta: Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, typically 2-3 minutes for fresh pasta. Ensure to stir from time to time to prevent sticking.
  • Prepare the Sauce: While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large pan over medium-low heat.
  • Combine and Toss: When the pasta is ready, reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain the rest. Add the fettuccine to the pan with melted butter. Gradually sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese while tossing the pasta continuously for it to mix perfectly. Add pasta water If the sauce is too thick- creamy but not runny.
  • Add cheese: Gradually add the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, tossing continuously until it melts and combines with the butter to form a creamy sauce.
  • Season: Taste and add salt if necessary although the salt in the cheese should be enough.
  • Serve: Serve immediately, garnished with additional grated cheese if desired.

Tips for the Perfect Alfredo:

Here are simple yet powerful tips to creating the luxurious, comfortable, real Fettuccine Alfredo:

  • Use Fresh Pasta: Fresh fettuccine, made with egg, offers a richer flavor and better texture compared to dried pasta.
  • Fresh is Best: While Parmigiano-Reggiano is the hallmark of a true fettuccine Alfredo, it is also important to ensure it is fresh to enhance the flavor and texture. Pre-shredded cheese often contains additives that can prevent a smooth sauce.
  • Starchy Water: Don’t skip reserving the pasta water! The starch is essential for creating a creamy sauce.
  • Low and Slow Heat: A good rule of thumb is to avoid high heat when working with the cheese sauce, as it can lead to a grainy texture.
  • Serve Immediately: Alfredo sauce can thicken as it cools. To enjoy it at its best, it is vital to serve the dish immediately after preparation.

Here you go. Easy to make with classic yet simple ingredients that you can find in your kitchen cabinets. It’s time to put your culinary skills to work.


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