Here is a classic Alfredo recipe everyone needs to master!
Let me know if you have made the classic version or the cream version and which one you prefer!
Basically Fettuccine Alfredo is a pasta dish made from freshly boiled Fettuccine Pasta tossed with Imported Parmesan Cheese and Whole Unsalted Sweet Butter. It was named by an Italian restaurateur, Alfredo di Lelio, at Alfredo alla Scrofa Restaurant in Rome.
According to Wikipedia the story goes like this, the dish was invented by di Lelio in 1914 as a variation of Fettuccine al Burro. When butter was added both before and after fettuccine was put in the serving bowl, the butter was known as doppio burro (double butter).
Di Lelio's original contribution was to double the amount of butter in the bowl before the Fettuccine would be poured in, thus a triplo burro (triple butter) effect instead of double.
He started doing this for his pregnant wife, who was having difficulty keeping food down.
When his wife began eating again, Alfredo added the new dish to his restaurant's menu.
A long-time customer recounted that di Lelio's restaurant became famous when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stopped into his restaurant and fell in love with the dish while on their honeymoon in 1927.
To express their gratitude, they gave him a golden fork and spoon along with a photo of them eating in his restaurant. He proudly displayed the photo on the wall of his small restaurant.
When Pickford and Fairbanks returned to Hollywood, they served his dish to their friends and associates. Word about that new meal quickly spread.
Alfredo di Lelio finally retired in 1938 and sold his restaurant, photos and all, to Mario Mozzetti's grandfather. He kept the restaurant's name, menu, and everything else. That restaurant is still in business today, run by Mario Mozzetti.
When Rome prepared for a large religious celebration in 1959, some local businessmen tracked down Alfredo di Lelio and offered to build him a new restaurant.
He was retired, but he agreed to show up and act as a greeter there. When the religious holiday arrived, old customers showed up and had their photos taken for the walls of the "new" restaurant located at 30 Piazza Augusto Imperatore, a few blocks north of his original location.
That expansion continued in 1977 when Alfredo II and Guido Bellanca opened a new "Alfredo's" by Rockefeller Center in New York City to serve it.
The walls of that restaurant are plastered with drawings by Al Hirschfeld - including the rest rooms. Another Alfredo's opened in the Epcot at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista. As of September 2007, the Epcot branch is closed.
THE ORIGINAL FETTUCCINE ALFREDO print version
( notice there is no heavy cream!)
Alfredo di Lelio
1 lb. of fresh, very thin Fettuccine noodles
6 oz butter, unsalted
6 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (aged 24 months), grated
This recipe is for the Original Fettuccine Alfredo was created in 1914 by Alfredo Di Lelio, created to for his pregnant wife who had lost her appetite.
Cook the Fettuccine noodles in 1 gallon of salted boiling water for three minutes, I recommend using sea salt. At the same time, mix the butter at room temperature in a bowl with the grated cheese until the cheese almost dissolves, forming a smooth cream. If using a mixer, this should not take more than three minutes at which time the noodles will be ready. Strain the pasta leaving just a small amount of water and toss the noodles with the Alfredo sauce ( which is more like a cheese compound butter). Plate and sprinkle additional grated cheese on top if desired.
Here is another version that I feel most people are familiar with and who probably have had one version or another, notice there is no flour and it is not made with a Besciamella Sauce, this is not the classic version.
Note: The sauce should be barely thick enough to coat the pasta without pooling on the bottom of the plate, but it should not be so thick like spackle. The sauce can be made the same time that it takes to bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta. I know some versions that put the bowl on top of the water as it is boiling and the pasta is cooking to heat the cream and butter then when the pasta is done draining it and adding the hot pasta to the warmed cream and melted butter and add the cheese and seasonings.
Fettuccine Alfredo should be served immediately, when it cools it will become a solid mass. (Remember your take out Fettuccine what it looked like when you got home?)
This recipe will sauce one pound of pasta and serves 6 as a first course
1¾ cups heavy cream (the higher the butterfat the better)
6 tbs. unsalted butter
8.5 ounces grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tsp. salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
A pinch of fresh ground nutmeg to taste, don't go overboard, just a little goes a long way, use a nutmeg grater.
Combine 1¼ cups cream and the butter in a saute pan large enough to for the sauce and the pound of pasta later on. Heat over a low flame, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the cream comes to a low simmer. Remove the pan from the heat once the butter is evenly melted into the cream.
Boil the pasta, draining it a little before it reaches the al dente stage. The pasta should be slightly undercooked before being added to the sauce because it will continue to cook while the sauce is being finished. See pasta types for more tips.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan (do not rinse it), along with the remaining ½ cup of cream, the cheese, the salt, the fresh grated nutmeg, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
Heat the pasta and sauce over a low flame, tossing continuously, until the cheese melts and incorporates into the sauce and the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 - 2 minutes. If serving later add more cream, about a half cup more.