Fettuccine Alfredo is a dish of fettuccine pasta with a sauce made of cream, butter and cheese.
In popular American cooking the cream preparation is sometimes called ‘Alfredo Sauce’, however, in Italy, the sauce does not necessarily have such a specific name or generally accepted understanding of its composition.
This recipe will make enough sauce for one pound of pasta, which, together, could serve 6 as a first course.
- 1¾ cups (400 ml) heavy cream
- 6 tbs. unsalted butter
- 8.5 ounces (240 grams) grated Parmesan cheese or asiago cheese
- 1 tsp. salt
- fresh-ground black pepper
- pinch of fresh-ground nutmeg
- Combine 1¼ cups (300 ml) cream and the butter in a pan large enough to accommodate the sauce and later the pound of pasta.
- Heat over a low flame, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the cream comes to a bare simmer.
- Remove the pan from the heat once the butter is evenly incorporated into the cream.
- Cook the pasta, draining it a little before it reaches the al dente stage. The pasta should be slightly undercooked before being added to the sauce because it will continue to cook while the sauce is being finished.
- Drain the pasta.
- Add the drained pasta, ½ cup (100 ml) of cream, the cheese, the salt, the nutmeg, and several grinds of the pepper mill to the pan
- Heat the pasta and sauce over a low flame, tossing continuously, until the cheese melts into the sauce and the sauce thickens slightly, about one to two minutes. You can add chopped parsley as a garnish mixed into the sauce.
- Alfredo Di Lelio, for whom the dish is named, was a Roman innkeeper. Between the 1910s and the 1950s he owned a popular restaurant named Alfredo all Augusteo in Piazza Augusto Imperatore in the center of the city. The restaurant, now called “Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma”, is run by the granddaughter of Alfredo Di Lelio, Ines Di Lelio.
- The original name of the dish, created in 1914, was Fettuccine al triplo burro (Fettuccine with triple butter).
- Fettuccine is the traditional pasta for Alfredo and its variations because the broad noodles provide just the right platform for the butter fat and cheese.
- Fresh egg pasta is greatly preferred by some over dried pasta for cream and cheese sauces because the sauce sometimes clings more readily to fresh pasta than it does to dried.