Serving fettuccine with butter and cheese was first mentioned in a 15th-century recipe for maccaroni romaneschi (“Roman pasta”) by Martino da Como, a northern Italian cook active in Rome; the recipe calls for cooking the pasta in broth or water and adding butter, “good cheese” and “sweet spices”.

Modern fettuccine Alfredo was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio in Rome. In1892 Alfredo Di Lelio began to work in a restaurant that was located in piazza Rosa and run by his mother Angelina. Di Lelio invented “fettuccine al triplo burro” (later named “fettuccine all’Alfredo” or “fettuccine Alfredo”)

The fame of Alfredo’s fettuccine spread, first in Rome and then to other countries. Di Lelio was made a Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Corona d’Italia.

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 pound dried fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:

  • Fill a large stockpot with cold water and add a handful or so of kosher salt.
  • Cover pot and heat water until it boils.
  • Drop fettuccine into boiling salted water and cook according to package instructions, about 6 to 9 minutes, or until al dente, tender, but still firm to the bite.
  • While fettuccine cooks, heat butter and cream in a large saut√© pan over medium-low heat until it starts to bubble
  • Lower heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until sauce has reduced somewhat. Remove from heat.
  • Add cheese and toss until fully mixed. Adjust consistency with additional cream if necessary.
  • Stir in chopped parsley. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Drain fettuccine and toss with Alfredo sauce.
  • If desired, sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and garnish with additional chopped parsley.