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 considered to be a sauce, though this is not the Italian convention.
This recipe will sauce one pound of pasta and serves 6 as a first course.
- Combine 1¼ cups (300 ml) cream and the butter in a sautéing 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 original name of the dish, created in 1914, was Fettuccine al triplo burro (Fettuccine with triple butter). He served it with golden forks given to him by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.
- Fettuccine is the traditional pasta for Alfredo and its variations because the broad noodles provide just the right platform for the rich cream and cheese.
- Fresh egg pasta is greatly preferred over dried pasta for cream and cheese sauces because the sauce clings more readily to fresh pasta than it does to dried.