Saturday, June 15

Roman Fettuccine Alfredo, from scratch BABY! - DIFFERENT PLACES & FACES: Elizabeth's Graduation Trip

Ever since we came back from Rome, the one question I get the most is, "What was your favorite meal?" My answer without a doubt is Fettuccine al Burro known to Americans as Fettuccine Alfredo. It was definitely an ooh, aah and mmhm meal from start to finish! Fettuccine Alfredo is associated in most every tourist's mind with Rome, probably because this most decadent of pasta dishes was first prepared in Rome over a hundred years ago. The 'original' Alfredo, Alfredo di Lelio, became a Roman success while serving up this newly prepared dish at his namesake restaurant, Alfredo's. The story goes that di Lelio invented the dish as a variation of fettuccine al burro in 1914. Originally he just doubled the amount of butter in the fettuccine al burro, which soon turned to adding cream and grated Parmesan Reggiano as well. He began making this new pasta dish for his pregnant wife who was having difficulty keeping food down. Alfredo added the new dish to his restaurant's menu when his wife started requesting it weekly. In 1920, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stopped in and fell in love with the dish while on their honeymoon. To express their gratitude, they gave him a golden fork and spoon along with a photo of them eating in his restaurant. He proudly gave them the recipe and displayed their photo on the wall. Pickford and Fairbanks served his dish to their friends and family when they returned home to Hollywood. Word of the new dish quickly spread and the rest is wonderful pasta history! Thanks to Alfredo's poor wife we too can now enjoy this outstanding Roman pasta dish....and aren't we the lucky ones?

Fettuccine Alfredo
This extra-rich version of fettuccine Alfredo is impossible to resist. Boiling the pasta until it's just al dente allows it to soak up plenty of the creamy sauce.

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 lb. dried fettuccine
  • 1 ½ cups finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Finely chopped parsley, for serving

  • Bring cream to a boil in a 14" high-sided skillet over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and immediately add to saucepan of reduced cream; add cheese, butter, and salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Garnish with additional cheese and parsley, if desired.
If you happen to find yourself in Rome and care to indulge in this most amazing pasta dish don't look on the menu for Fettuccine Alfredo. In Rome and throughout Europe, the name "Fettuccine Alfredo" is basically unknown. In Rome it is usually called Fettuccine al burro

On our last night in Rome we headed to the Trastevere neighborhood. Rome's "other side of the tracks" is actually the other side of the river. When you cross the Tiber River, you lose the big museums and tourists...but you find the locals and an ambiance NOT to be missed. The Church of Santa Maria sits in the center of this colorful area of Rome. It once was a villa where Rome's first Christians worshiped in hiding. Mr.P, E and I slowed WAY down in order to savor our last few hours in the Eternal City. We took the time to meander away from the Piazza Santa Maria to experience the pulse of this very ancient neighborhood. As we strolled along we were rewarded by hearing the very Italian name of 'Antonio' being hollered by a busy-looking mother from her fifth-floor balcony. She was hoisting up a little delivery basket that was overflowing with Italian cheese and milk bottles. Stop and look closely, you are likely to see, as we did, laundry floating high in the air, artist in the piazza, children playing soccer on narrow hidden streets, strolling musicians who love to flirt in a language all their own, earth-toned streets speckled with Vespas and potted plants tumbling over with a profusion of color. The Trastevere is intimate and romantic, it was the perfect way to end our stay in Rome.
The Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, was once the villa of a Christian woman. The very first Roman Christians worshiped here in hiding.
The Piazza Santa Maria.
We headed down this side street in search of our restaurant.
Someone on the other side of this open window was singing Italian opera.
It just doesn't get much better than that for an impromptu memorable experience.
Ideal, huh?
Wandering around the Trastevere before dinner.
This very Italian musician flirted with E as we passed. 
She was quite embarrassed and I got tickled!
We ate under a lovely canopy of trees and this old bell tower...magical.
Our restaurant was located in this beautiful old building.
We had the quintessential Roman dinning experience here at Trattoria da Lucia. Operated by four generations of the same family, it is Roman home-cooking at it's best, far exceeding our expectations!
Mr.P and me eating dinner in the glow of the street lights.
Miss Elizabeth.
Heading back to our hotel. 
Although tired, we are happy and satisfied.


FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Did you know restaurants in Rome are rated 
on how well they can prepare Fettuccine Alfredo?

1 comment:


    With reference of your article we have the pleasure to tell you the history of our grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, who is the creator of “fettuccine all’Alfredo” in 1908 in restaurant run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi).
    Alfredo di Lelio opened the restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in Rome, after leaving the restaurant of his mother Angelina. In this local spread the fame, first to Rome and then in the world, of “fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
    In 1943, during the war, Di Lelio sold the restaurant to others outside his family.
    In 1950 Alfredo Di Lelio decided to reopen with his son Armando his restaurant in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 "Il Vero Alfredo" (“Alfredo di Roma”), which is now managed by his nephews Alfredo and Ines, with the famous “gold cutlery”” (fork and spoon gold) donated in 1927 by two well-known American actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (in gratitude for the hospitality).
    See also the site of “Il Vero Alfredo”, which also contains information on franchising.
    We must clarify that other restaurants "Alfredo" in Rome do not belong to the family tradition of "Il Vero Alfredo" in Rome.
    We inform that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
    Best regards Alfredo e Ines Di Lelio