Pasta Alfredo recipe

Pasta Alfredo recipe

Pasta Alfredo recipe
nutritional information (per serving)

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nutritional information
Servings: 4 to 6
amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 12g61%
55 mg18%
359 mg16%
dietary fiber 1g4%
total sugar 1g
Vitamin C 0 mg0%
Calcium 155 mg12%
Iron 1 mg6%
Potassium 105 mg2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.

(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The Origins of Fettuccine Alfredo

The classic fettuccine Alfredo was created in 1914 by Alfredo di Lelio at his restaurant Alfredo's. Like other notable Roman pasta dishes like cacio e pepe and spaghetti alla carbonara, fettuccine alfredo is an emulsion of butter, pasta water, and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Fettuccine Alfredo's journey from Italy to the USA

Rumor has it that American movie stars Douglas Fairbanks and Marie Pickford ate fettuccine alfredo during their honeymoon in Rome in 1927. They loved it so much that when they returned to Hollywood, they started cooking it for friends. From then on, the popularity of the dish in America increased. But since butter and cheese made in the US contain less milk fat than their European counterparts, American cooks began adding cream to achieve the velvety flavor and texture of the Italian recipe.

Use quality ingredients

Jarred alfredo sauce is now ubiquitous in American supermarkets, but the original Roman recipe is quick and easy to make at home. With so few ingredients, it's best to use the highest quality products you can find. Look for European butters like Président or Plugra, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in the block and quality dried or fresh pasta.

Slowly stirring the butter and cheese into the pasta water emulsifies the sauce and creates a velvety consistency. It doesn't need any side dishes other than freshly ground pepper, but you can serve it with a simple arugula salad and crusty bread to soak up the extra sauce.

“The pasta alfredo was excellent and a quick meal to make on a weekday. I used freshly grated pecorino romano and fresh fettuccine pasta and made a delicious, silky sauce with the butter and pasta water.” —Diana Rattray

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 Pound fresh fettuccine or other long pasta like pappardelle or linguine

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted buttercut into small pieces

  • 1 Cup freshly grated parmesan cheeseor Pecorino Romano

  • Fresh ground black pepperTo serve

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and taste it. It should taste like sea water. Add the pasta and cook al dente according to package directions.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Return 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the same saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly add butter, a few pieces at a time, and mix until melted before adding more.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Gradually add cheese and stir until melted. The sauce should take on a smooth, thickened consistency. Make sure there are no visible bits of cheese before adding more cheese.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add the pasta to the saucepan and stir with tongs until well coated and the sauce is velvety and smooth (about 1 minute). Use the remaining 1/4 cup pasta water to thin, if needed. Finish with freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately.

    The spruce eats / Diana Chistruga

recipe tips

  • Using only three ingredients, use the very best quality products you can find. European-style butter has a higher fat content, resulting in less water, more flavor, and a creamier texture. Choose either a piece of Parmesan cheese to grate at home or freshly grated cheese at the store instead of the pre-grated variety, which contains anti-caking stabilizers that prevent the sauce from emulsifying as needed.
  • This dish is best enjoyed immediately after preparation. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave at 50 percent power for 1 minute; However, the sauce could break up, meaning the oil will separate from the milk solids and lose the creamy flavor and flavor of this simple dish. It will still be delicious, but it won't look as appealing.

recipe variation

To make this dried pasta dish, use 12 ounces and cook according to package directions.

How to store it

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to three days, but it's best to eat them right away.

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