The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Authentic Fettucine Alfredo

For you youngsters out there, back in the day a good resource for new recipes were these things called “magazines” that we used to buy in places called “bookstores”.    And get this – if you liked one enough, you could actually PAY to have them delivered to your house via mail.    Notice the lack of “e” in front of “mail”?

Anyway, I used to cut out the recipes that looked interesting and put them in a binder.   Once in the binder, there was a 98% chance it would be completely forgotten.

FA recipe


I was going through that recipe binder and came across one for the original Fettucine Alfredo.  It seems like every Italian restaurant in America serves the dish.   You can even find it in non-Italian restaurants, a class which includes that place whose name begins with “Olive Gard” and ends with “en”.

I had always wondered if it was actually an Italian recipe or if it was one of those American inventions that no one in the home country had ever heard of.   Like General Tso’s chicken.   It turns out that this is actually an Italian dish and there was someone named associated with it.   The dish has been around for centuries, but it was Alfredo Di Lelio, a restaurateur in Rome in the 1950s, who gave it the name.

Genius.  He took something that was a main staple of Italian cuisine, named it after himself, and now he’s in the history books. (Hey youngsters – “history books” are big, heavy things we used to schlep around school and use before Wikipedia was invented.)

I’ve decided that I gotta get in on that act.   So, from this day forward, that hot sandwich with ground beef and a slice of cheese is no longer a “cheeseburger.”   It’s Sandwich a la Hedonist.

Laugh now, but your great-grandkids will be speaking my name a billion times a day.


Fettucine Alfredo

No idea what magazine this was from.  Probably Saveur.   I imagine this was done as a tableside preparation in one of Alfredo’s fancy restaurants.  But don’t get intimidated, it’s super easy to make. There’s no reason to buy it frozen or buy the pre-made sauces.  Those probably have all kinds of extra additives thickeners.   I served it with some sautéed chicken, but shrimp would work, too.

This recipe uses 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) of butter, but I think it’ll be better with just 10-12 tablespoons.   I’ve never shied away from using butter from a nutritional standpoint, it’s just that there were pools of the stuff.   On the plus side, it was so rich that we didn’t need too much of it to get full.   So we didn’t have to worry about all those carbs or gluten or whatever we’re demonizing these days.


– 1 pound dried fettucine. The recipe suggests that over fresh as it holds together better.

– 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) of butter

– ½ pound of finely grated parmesan – 3-3.5 cups

1. Heat a large serving platter in a 200 degree oven

2. Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package.

3. While the pasta is cooking, slice the butter into thin pieces and grate the cheese.

4. Drain the pasta and save a cup of the water used for boiling.

5. Place the butter on the warmed platter…


FA Butter

…and then pile on the pasta and cheese.  Pour ½ cup of the water on it.

FA pre mix

6. Toss the ingredients together with serving spoon and fork.

FA Mix

If it’s a little dry, add more of the water to create a velvety sauce.



See? Wasn’t that easy?

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

12 comments on “Authentic Fettucine Alfredo

  1. Kappa Language School
    April 21, 2015

    Reblogged this on Kappa Language School Blog.

  2. Salty Sweet Life
    April 21, 2015

    Hey John! Oh, you are bringing back memories with the fettucine with alfredo sauce! I haven’t made this in a long time, but I’ve never made it quite like this! That is a lot of butter, but I can see how this would be the original dish! Love it!

  3. Ines Di Lelio
    April 21, 2015


    With reference of your article, I have the pleasure to tell you the history of my grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, who is the creator of “Fettuccine all’Alfredo” (“Fettuccine Alfredo”) in 1908 in the “trattoria” run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi). This “trattoria” of Piazza Rosa has become the “birthplace of fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
    More specifically, as is well known to many people who love the “fettuccine all’Alfredo”, this famous dish in the world was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio concerned about the lack of appetite of his wife Ines, who was pregnant with my father Armando (born February 26, 1908).
    Alfredo di Lelio opened his restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in Rome and in 1943, during the war, he sold the restaurant to others outside his family.
    In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 “Il Vero Alfredo” (“Alfredo di Roma”), whose fame in the world has been strengthened by his nephew Alfredo and that now managed by me, with the famous “gold cutlery” (fork and spoon gold) donated in 1927 by two well-known American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (in gratitude for the hospitality).
    See also the website of “Il Vero Alfredo”.(with news also about franchising).

    I must clarify that other restaurants “Alfredo” in Rome do not belong to the family tradition of “Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma”.
    I inform you that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo –Alfredo di Roma” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
    Best regards Ines Di Lelio

  4. The Byronic Man
    April 21, 2015

    Dibs on Monte Cubano’s, because they’re sooooo good, and if there’s a Monte Byronic sandwich, logically, there needs to be a Mount Byronic Man.

    And I think it’d have to be a “monte byronic sandwich” not a “monte byronic man sandwich” because that sounds like a movie you’d have to pay extra for in a hotel…

  5. Go Jules Go
    April 21, 2015

    I keep wanting to add something to this recipe. Garlic? Parsley? Heavy cream? Vodka? (Sorry that last one just snuck in there.)

    But no. It looks perfect.

  6. rachelocal
    April 22, 2015

    Yum! Nothing better than buttery fat, cheese, and carbs.

  7. Matteo Teaches Italian
    May 10, 2015

    Hey dude, I wrote something about Fetucine Alfredo here:

    and his grandchild replied to me!

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