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Fettuccine All’ Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo is a dish that Americans think of in their list of “classic Italian dishes” right along with Spaghetti and Meatballs and Ravioli. But, the dish that is known to Americans is not quite the authentic Italian version.
Fettuccine Alfredo started off as the desperate attempt of Roman restaurant owner, Alfredo di Lelio, to find something that his pregnant wife, who had lost most of her appetite due to pregnancy, would be able to eat. So, he added some Parmesan cheese to an everyday Italian dish, fettuccine al burro (Fedduccine with Butter), and she couldn’t stop eating it!
(But, seriously. To put things into perspective, it’s like he made her buttered toast with a bit of cheese sprinkled on top…. And then the world went CRAZY over it!)
He introduced the dish onto his restaurant’s menu in 1914. In 1920, he served the dish to some famous American movie stars, who brought the idea back to Italian restaurants in the States.
Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo is SUPER Easy
Seriously, all you need is three ingredients.
No, not a jar of “Alfredo” sauce.
You need fresh, grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, butter, and fettuccine.
There’s not a drop of cream in Alfredo’s original recipe. Just cheese, mixed with pasta, pasta water and butter, to create a creamy sauce without the cream!!
How Did We Get American Fettuccine Alfredo?
While you could chock it up to the fact that making things unnecessarily rich and bad for you is just what the American food market does, there might be a legitimate reason that we Americans added cream in this case.
You see, at the time that Fettuccine Alfredo was introduces in the States, the butter and Parmesan cheese that they had access to was nowhere near the quality of the cheese and butter in Italy. So, it is possible that cream was introduced to the dish in order to make up for the lack of richness in the other ingredients.
But, whatever the reason, now YOU know the REAL story.
And, now you can make authentic Fettuccine Alfredo to impress your family and friends!
Our Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe
The really authentic Fettuccine Alfredo recipe from Alfredo di Lelio calls for 1/2 lb of butter and 1/2 lb of grated Parmesan cheese per 1 lb of fettuccine.
That may sound like a lot of butter and cheese, but when we got ready to make the recipe we realized just how MUCH butter and cheese it really is for that amount of pasta.
For our recipe below, we have reduced the amount of butter and cheese. Even though we cut them back from what is called for in the original recipe, and we still found our Fettuccine Alfred to be PLENTY rich and flavorful.
But, if you really want to go for it, feel free to use the full 1/2 lb of butter and 1/2 lb cheese with your pound of pasta.
You only live once, you know. And, the dairy industry will thank you.
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