January 2, 2012

My Alfredo Recipe

I have lived in Italy since October 1984.

I am not from an Italian family and have no recipes passed down from anyone, what I have learned, I have learned here in Italy.

What I did come with was a bunch of misinformation on what Italian food was.

my alfredo
One of the famous Italian dishes all over America is Fettuccine Alfredo. Italian recipes do not exist, regional recipes exist and even those change from house to house and restaurant to restaurant.

I have NEVER had Fettucini Alfredo in Italy, the only place it really exists is in the restaurant that created it, Alfredo's in Rome.

Check out the video here--- and discover the secret- keep it simple. Butter and parmesan cheese.

I once ordered Fettucine Alfredo's in a restaurant in Florence, Alfredo's and what I got was the house specialty with some strange sauce with vegetables and tomatoes, certainly NOT what I was expecting.

I am heading down to Rome later this month to take another class with Gabriele Bonci. Now that he was just on Bourdains show, more and more people know who he is and will stop by Alfredo's and the original dish!

The  most important ingredient is butter. The best creamiest richest butter you can buy.

this is a simple but good butter, unsalted, I get at the grocery store here.

Use a lot of butter, at least a couple of tablespoons per person. It is your sauce and there is no cream. Place in a skillet large enough to hold the pasta.

Place the skillet over the pot of hot water where you will cook your fresh pasta. It will melt but not cook.
( in the video you will see that they just heat their plate, add softened butter.)

Cook the pasta until done and instead of draining the pasta in a colander, remove with tongs, leaving some of the pasta water on the pasta.

Add to the pan with the melted butter.

Add grated parmesan cheese and stir.

The cheese will melt with the butter, off the heat, with the heat of the pasta and the cooking water.
The sauce emulsifies and becomes creamy without the addition of cream.

I like to serve an additional sprinkling of cheese in top to stir in before eating.

Rome is famous for pasta cacio e pepe, which is usually served with cooked dried pasta and uses the local grated pecorino ( sheep's milk) cheese and then a generous grating of black pepper.

I use the above technique for Alfredo and infuse the butter with fresh mint and lemon. It is a fabulous base to work with.

Simplify and enjoy!


  1. I am so looking forward to being in Italy and discovering all of the wonderful cheeses.

  2. Mmmmm delicious and I so miss living in Italy! Happy New Year!

  3. So, we're going to Alfredo's while you're in town?

  4. Elizabeth-- i have only walked by and never been-- so why not-- good story!

  5. Okay, I have been doing this for years because my former MIL Nonnie taught me; it was her fast "cheat" pasta when she needed a quick pasta alongside a meat dish. Now I can call it Alfredo and take a bit more pride! She would add a little garlic though, cooked in the melted butter, so delicious.

  6. Looks delicious! I'm making it tonight with Breaded Chicken Paillards and roasted broccoli! But wish I was in Italy making it!

  7. Michelle2:58 AM

    Simplicity and excellence. What a great combination. I love it!

  8. Love the dish. Love the photos. Love your first 2012 post.

  9. Sounds like a great, quick pasta. Obviously the quality of the ingredients are paramount. Will try this with home-made fettucine sometime.

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  11. Welcome @tourstomorocco Morocco is also on my bucket list for 2012

  12. Oh I just love this dish

  13. Sooo delicious!!! as always... I love it! You inspire me on this. I made this and it was super easy and cheap!! It was delicious!

  14. Awesome blog over here! Thanks for sharing this very usefull information. I will visit your blog again into a couple off days to check if you have some new articles.

  15. Italian recipes do not exist, regional recipes exist and even those change from house to house and restaurant to restaurant.

  16. Wow. It is surprising to learn that you only found Alfredo in Rome! Thanks for sharing this recipe and information. I would love to visit Italy and experience all of the history and food for myself one day.