Fettuccine Alfredo



Discover the Surprising Origins of America's Beloved Fettuccine Alfredo

Have you ever wondered why Fettuccine Alfredo is a staple in Italian restaurants across the United States, yet seems somewhat of a mystery in Italy itself? This dish, immensely popular in the U.S., appears to be a hallmark of Italian-American cuisine. However, the roots of Fettuccine Alfredo are deeply Italian, just like Spaghetti all'Amatriciana or Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe: simple homemade egg pasta fettuccine tossed with ample butter and Parmigiano Reggiano PDO, embodying the simplicity and elegance of Italy's culinary traditions. 

The Birth of a Classic: Fettuccine Alfredo

The story of Fettuccine Alfredo dates back to 1914, crafted by Alfredo Di Lelio in his restaurant on Via della Scrofa in Rome. Created to nourish his wife back to health after childbirth, the dish was a hit and quickly became the restaurant's signature offering. Its fame in Italy was only the beginning.

Hollywood's Love Affair with Fettuccine Alfredo

The international acclaim for Fettuccine Alfredo skyrocketed when Hollywood icons Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks dined at Alfredo's during their honeymoon in Rome. Captivated by the dish, they gifted Alfredo golden cutlery, crowning him the "King of Noodles". This glamorous endorsement turned Alfredo's restaurant into a hotspot for American celebrities during the 1920s, cementing Fettuccine Alfredo's status in American culture.

Make Fettuccine Alfredo Your Own

Now, it's your turn to bring this beloved dish into your home. Crafting Fettuccine Alfredo is not just about following a recipe; it's about connecting with a piece of culinary history that transcends borders. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a cooking enthusiast, preparing Fettuccine Alfredo offers a taste of Italian tradition with a story that resonates with everyone.

By embracing the art of making Fettuccine Alfredo, you're not just serving a meal; you're keeping a rich tradition alive and sharing a piece of cultural heritage with your loved ones. Ready to wear the crown? Start kneading that dough, and let the title of "king of fettuccine" be yours!


If you're a fan of fettuccine, don't miss out on these other delicious ways to dress it up:

Flour 00 4 cups (400 g)
Remilled durum wheat semolina to taste - for sprinkling
Eggs 4 - medium
Butter 1 stick (80 g)
Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese 2 oz (80 g) - grated
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

How to prepare Fettuccine Alfredo

To prepare fettuccine Alfredo, start by making the fresh egg pasta: sieve the flour 00 in a bowl (perhaps start with a little less than the full amount of flour and add more if necessary) 1, and add the eggs 2. Knead by hand to obtain a homogeneous dough 3, then place it on a worktop and finish kneading; if the dough seems too soft, you can add a little more flour, if it appears too dry, moisten with a little water.

When the dough is firm and elastic, roll it into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap 4. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes so that the gluten relaxes and the dough is easier to roll out. After half an hour, sprinkle a little flour 00 on the work top and divide the dough into 4 parts using a scraper 5: knead one part at a time and keep the remaining dough covered in plastic wrap so that it doesn't dry out. Lightly sprinkle some flour onto the part you are about to knead 6

and feed it into the pasta making machine, on the thickest setting 7; add a pinch of flour to prevent the dough from tearing 8. Repeat the operation several times, working your way up to the penultimate setting 9. If you do not have a pasta making machine, you can roll out the dough with a rolling pin; wrap the dough around the pin and unroll it several times, until it is a few millimeters thick.

Now divide the sheets of dough into 2 or 3 parts according to length 10 and feed them through the machine once more, on the penultimate number to prevent them from shrinking 11. Sprinkle the semolina over the pasta sheets 12 and leave them to dry for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, bring some salted water to the boil in a saucepan, to cook the fettuccine.

Once the pasta is dry, take a sheet and wrap it around itself from the shorter side, taking care not to press, so that the overlapping layers do not stick together 13. When you succeed in making a regular shaped cylinder, cut into roughly 4 mm thick slices using a knife 14. Unroll the slices, holding them by one end 15,

roll the resulting fettuccine around your hand to form a nest 16 and leave them to rest on the work top; proceed in the same way with the rest of the pasta sheets. When the fettuccine are ready, cook them in the water which will have come to the boil by now 17. As the pasta cooks, it'll only take 2-3 minutes, prepare the sauce: melt the butter on a very low flame in a capacious pan, but be sure not to burn it 18.

Add a ladle of pasta cooking water: the starch it contains will help you create an even creamier condiment 19. Drain the fettuccine and place them in the pan with the butter 20, add another ladle of cooking water 21 and briefly saute, stirring rapidly all the while.

Now remove from the heat and add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano 22; last of all, season with a pinch of salt 23 and a generous grating of black pepper; stir once more to thoroughly coat the pasta in the sauce. Your fettuccine Alfredo are ready to be served 24!


  • Place your Fettuccine Alfredo in an airtight container before storing it in the refrigerator. The dish should be consumed within 1-2 days for the best quality and taste.
  • Freezing is not recommended.

However, you can freeze uncooked fettuccine. To freeze, place the pasta nests far apart on a tray and leave them to harden in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once hardened, place them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer. Whenever you need to use them, simply cook them from frozen, by dropping them into boiling water, then follow the recipe as normal.


In the United States you'll have a tough time finding a restaurant that doesn't serve fettuccine Alfredo! However, usually they won't be prepared following the original recipe by the Alfredo restaurant in Rome, as cream is added to help make the typical sauce...have no fear, if you follow our recipe you won't need any! You'll also find a ready-made condiment in the USA, called Alfredo sauce, for adding to fettuccine, but it is far-removed from the original recipe of the Rome-based restaurant.

Interesting fact

Alfredo di Lelio sold his restaurant in via della Scrofa in 1943 and opened another one in 1950 with his son, "Il vero Alfredo" (The Real Alfredo), in Piazza Augusto Imperatore 30, where fettuccine Alfredo were still made according to the original recipe, past down from father to son and served with the golden cutlery donated by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks!