Fettuccine Alfredo

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Fettuccine Alfredo
The Only Original Alfredo Sauce with Butter and Parmesano-Reggiano Cheese.png
Fettuccine Alfredo made with Fettuccine egg noodles, butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Course Primo
Place of origin Italy
Region or state Lazio
Associated national cuisine United States
Created by Alfredo di Lelio I (1882–1959)
Main ingredients fettuccine, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, butter
Variations (in the US) broccoli, cream, parsley, garlic, chicken, shrimp, Turkey
Cookbook: Fettuccine Alfredo  Media: Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo (Italian pronunciation: [fettut'tʃiːne alˈfreːdo])[1] is a pasta dish made from fettuccine noodles tossed with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and butter.[2][3][4][5][6] The cheese is melted with butter and emulsified to form a smooth and rich sauce coating on the pasta.[4]

Despite its Italian origin, the dish is mostly unknown in Italy. The dish was named after Alfredo Di Lelio who opened a restaurant in Rome in 1914 and served “fettuccine all’ Alfredo.[7][4][8] The dish became popularized and spread to the United States where it has become a proprietary eponym. The recipe has evolved and its commercialized version is now ubiquitous with heavy cream and other ingredients.


Preparing noodles with butter or pasta al burro is one of the oldest and simplest ways to prepare pasta. Maccaroni with butter or maccaroni romaneschi translation "roman maccaroni" was first mentioned in the 15th-century cookbook, Libro de arte coquinaria, written by Martino da Como, a northern Italian cook in Rome.[9] Maccaroni or pasta with butter is a dish that Italians consider less of a featured dish to be ordered in a restaurant than something that would be cooked at home for simplicity and comfort. Fettuccine Alfredo is an exaggerated variation of the pasta al burro.[10]

According to family accounts, In 1892, Alfredo Di Lelio began to work in a restaurant that was located in piazza Rosa and run by his mother Angelina. The restaurant closed in 1910 when the piazza disappeared. Alfredo Di Lelio invented the dish in 1908 in an effort to entice his wife, Ines, to eat after giving birth to their first child Armando. Alfredo added extra butter or "triplo burro” to the fettuccine when mixing it together for her and she ate.[11][12][13][14]

Alfredo di Lelio opened his own restaurant “Alfredo" in 1914 on the via della Scrofa in central Rome. The restaurant served classic Roman dishes and featured "fettuccine all’Alfredo.” Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks visited the restaurant while honeymooning in Rome in 1927. They returned to the restaurant more than once and enjoyed the dish to the extent that they had a set of gold cutlery, a spoon and a fork, engraved “To Alfredo King of the Noodles” and signed, then gave it to the restauranteur. It’s unconfirmed as to whether the couple was able to get the recipe in exchange for their gift but it is believed that they returned to Hollywood and asked restaurants back home to replicate the dish for them.[15]

In 1943, during the war, Alfredo Di Lelio sold the restaurant to two waiters but in 1950 reopened another restaurant located in the piazza Augusto Imperatore.[16] The restaurant, Alfredo all’Augusteo or “Il Vero Alfredo” (“Alfredo di Roma”), was under Armando’s management until 1982 and is now managed by his daughter Ines. Today, when the dish is served to guests at the table, the pasta is turned with the famous “gold cutlery” donated in 1927 by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Il vero Alfredo is located in the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, 30 – Rome.[17]

The Di Lelio family also operates fine dining franchises and licenses with the brand “Alfredo” for food products. [18][19]

Alfredo sauce and commercialized products[edit]

In the United States and throughout the world, Alfredo sauce is sold as a convenience food in grocery stores. Unlike the original preparation, which is thickened only by cheese, the prepared food and fast food versions may be thickened with eggs or starch.[20] Additional ingredients such as white wine, eggs, nutmeg, garlic and sugar also appear in commercialized items.[21][22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "fettuccine" at Collins Dictionary, accessed 2016-11-22 (archive)
  2. ^ "The Original Fettuccine Alfredo". Today. www.today.com. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "3 Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo". Martha Stewart. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c Carnacina (1975),p.72–73
  5. ^ Waverly Root,The Food of Italy, 1971, p. 86
  6. ^ "Fettuccine Alfredo". Giallo Zafferano. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.ilveroalfredo.it/en/history/
  8. ^ Downie, David (2011). Cooking the Roman Way. HarperCollins. p. 106. ISBN 9780062031099. 
  9. ^ Martino, de Rossi. "Libro de Arte Coquinaria". www.staff.uni-giessen.de/ (in Italian). Digital version: Valeria Romanelli, 7/2004. p. 119. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  10. ^ Downie, David (2011). Cooking the Roman Way. HarperCollins. p. 106. ISBN 9780062031099. 
  11. ^ "Alfredo 1914". alfredo1914.com. web. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  12. ^ "La Storia". il vero Alfredo (in Italian). web. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  13. ^ Carnacina (1975). Unknown. pp. 72–73. 
  14. ^ Scordo, Vincent. "Fettuccine Alfredo (Fettuccine al Triplo Burro)". www.scordo.com. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  15. ^ "The Original Fettucini Alfredo [sic]". Musso and Frank. web. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  16. ^ Simoncini [pseudo 'frasi'], Francesco (1967). Ristoranti a Roma, A.B.E.T.E. p. 99. 
  17. ^ "La Storia". il vero Alfredo. web. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  18. ^ "Franchising". il vero Alfredo. web. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  19. ^ Fabricant, Florence. "An Alfredo Sauce Straight From the Source". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  20. ^ Papa Gino's, "Nutritional information and Allergens
  21. ^ "Classic Alfredo Sauce". www.ragu.com. web. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  22. ^ "Bertolli Mushroom Alfredo with Portobello Mushroom Sauce". www.bertolli.com. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  23. ^ "Creamy Alfredo". www.barilla.com. web. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 


  • Carnacina, Luigi; Buonassisi, Vincenzo (1975). Roma in Cucina (in Italian). Milano: Giunti Martello.