Fettucine Alfredo has become such a classic dish for Americans that it is hard to believe that it is practically unknown in Italy, except in Rome where it originated. Fettucine Alfredo as understood by most Americans is not an authentic Italian dish. American chefs have added all sorts of other ingredients, most typically cream and flour, to the basic recipe. Alfredo sauce is something of a pinnacle. Every chef seems to have his or her own special, "authentic" recipe. The original recipe is almost lost, shrouded in mystery. In this video, The Sauceress makes authentic Fettucine Alfredo sauce to the original recipe:
The Alfredo Story
Alfredo di Lelio was chef and owner of La Scrofa Restaurant in Rome. In 1914 his wife was pregnant and found it difficult to keep her food down. She must have had a craving for fatty foods, as Alfredo prepared a dish of fettucine served with a large amount of butter and cheese, melted together to form a creamy sauce - what we now know as alfredo sauce. The dish became fashionable and many celebrities went to the restaurant to be photographed eating Fettucine Alfredo with Alfredo himself looking on. Alfredo got rich and the dish became famous.
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Pasta dressed with butter and cheese has been a traditional Italian dish for centuries. In northern Italy it is called "pasta al burro" and in southern Italy it is "pasta in bianco". Alfredo sauce is just a variant of the same thing.
Here is the authentic alfredo sauce recipe, as given on the official website of Alfredo's restaurant, Alfredo alla Scrofa: Ingredients: Pasta egg, butter, parmesan cheese.Preparation: boil the water,salt moderately,add the pasta.Once the pasta is cooked (time of cooking depends from the type of pasta) remove it from the water and lie it on a warm oval plate were in advance you have put the butter.Cover the pasta with a lot of parmesan cheese and melt everything gently.When everything will be well melted and you will see a cream sauce coming out , you can serve and taste it.Unfortunately, as you can see, Alfredo did not include the quantities he used. In order to tempt his wife's appetite, he added butter both before and after placing the cooked fettucine on the plate. This was known as "double butter". Alfredo decided to increase the quantity of butter on the plate before adding the pasta, and the result was known as "triple butter", which is a distinguishing feature of genuine alfredo sauce. After much experimentation, The Sauceress has found the best combination of butter to cheese in order to produce the creamy amalgamation that is the distinguishing characteristic of alfredo sauce.
Authentic Fettucine Alfredo Recipe
- 1 pound (450 grams) fresh very thin fettuccine made with eggs (ideally home-made, or use an Italian brand if you must purchase dry pasta))
- 6 ounces (170 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into thirds
- 6 ounces (170 grams) top-quality Italian parmigiano-reggiano cheese (aged 24 months).
Grate the cheese either by hand or using the grating attachment of your food processor. It needs to be fine and almost soft. Cook the fettuccine noodles in a gallon (4.5 litres) of salted (about 2 teaspoons of salt) boiling water. Keep the water at a rolling boil and stir for the first minute or so to make sure the noodles are separated . Cooking time will be about three minutes for fresh pasta and up to fifteen for dry pasta. Taste every minute towards the end of cooking to make sure it is "al dente" or firm to the bite, and remember that it will continue to cook after it is removed from the water. While the pasta is cooking place two-thirds of the butter on a warm plate and keep it warm in a low oven. When the pasta is ready, take it from the water and place it on top of the butter, then add the cheese. Top with the rest of the butter and gently toss with a spoon and fork until the sauce becomes creamy. An alternative method is to put all the melted butter in a bowl, add the cheese and beat with a whisk or an electric mixer until the cheese almost dissolves, forming a smooth cream. Transfer to hot plates and serve immediately. Serves 4. Genuine alfredo sauce does not contain any actual dairy cream or any kind of flour - the thick creamy texture is purely a mixture of butter, water and cheese. NOTE: Be sure to use unsalted butter and do not add any salt to the dish. There is plenty of salt from the pasta water and from the cheese. You can add some freshly ground white pepper but please taste it first. You can ruin lovely alfredo sauce if there is too much salt in it! [atag]B000163N6G[/atag] For more alfredo sauce recipes, please visit: alfredo sauce Recipes Video Blog.