First of all, this dish is known in Rome amongst the Italians as “Fettuccini al burro’, while the rest of the world calls it ‘Fettuccine Alfredo’ after the man who invented this dish.
I don’t know about you, but JO and I normally try and give the usual tourist restaurants a miss on our many travels, but of course, there is always the odd exception or two.
One of those is a famous old restaurant, still located in its original place in the old city centre of Rome on Via della Scrofa.
It was here that a man by the name of ‘Alfredo Di Lelio’ invented the famous signature dish of this establishment, yes – ‘Fettuccine Alfredo’. Having made this sumptuous dish a few times at home for family and friends, we decided to finally pay ‘Alfredo’s’ a visit on our recent trip to Rome.
The place was packed with mainly tourists, who wanted to try out the ‘original Fettuccine Alfredo’. Yes, I admit that we wanted the same but most of all we wanted to have a good close up look at the famous photo gallery, depicting not only those film stars of ‘yesteryears’ and Mario Mozzetti (whose family bought the restaurant in 1943 from Alfredo Di Lelio) has done a good job in updating this gallery, also showing photographs of ordinary people, government heads and film-, music- and theater people.
There is a nice little romantic story attached to one of the old pictures on the wall. It is said that the fame came to Di Lelio’s restaurant when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stopped by and fell in love with the dish. This was on their honeymoon in 1920. As a thank you and to express their gratitude the presented Di Lelio with a golden fork and spoon together with a signed photograph which shows them eating in his restaurant which he proudly displayed on the wall – hence the gallery was born.
But most importantly, this is still the undisputed home of the undisputed pasta dish, which one can find now all over the world.
We have been there twice now, but next time we go, we will try one of their other dishes on the menu and sit once again very close to the Gallery.
This recipe should come with a sort of ‘health warning’ because it is so unbelievably delicious and sinful and of course laden with calories. But, please, if you still want to make this famous dish, for once go ahead and ‘push the boat out’ fully. No cheating here, use only the real things, and that means good butter, good fat cream and wonderful Parmigiano with Fettuccine (everything available now here in Cochin at GOURMET House in Thevera)
The other good thing I like about this dish is that it needs only 2 pots/pans, and that it is so quick to make as well.
For 4 people:
1 pack of Fettuccine, appr. 500 g
6 (or more!) Tbsp. of butter
250 ml of lovely fat cream
A more than generous handful of grated Parmigiano
A pinch of grated Nutmeg (optional)
A dash of salt and black pepper, to taste
In one pot boil your pasta in plenty of boiling water. No salt, no oil here! When ready, DO NOT DRAIN, just take off heat.
In a deep pan melt all your butter on medium heat, reduce heat even more and add your cream. By no means, if you want more creamy sauce, just add more cream and butter. Let this simmer for app. 1 minute. Now add nutmeg, salt and pepper and half the Parmigiano. Stir very gently and carefully. Don’t let anything boil or the sauce goes wrong.
Now lift your pasta straight from the hot cooking water into the sauce and with two forks toss all this together.
Put onto a large preheated platter (or onto 4 individual plates) and sprinkle the other generous! half of your Parmigiano over this and serve.