We heard about this sauce talking about some American clients or friend… we found this interesting article that we want to share with you:
Between restaurants, cookbooks and supermarket shelves, Alfredo sauces vary widely, both in style and quality. Here’s a rundown of fettuccine Alfredo’s history and sauce variations.
The original dish was an extra-buttery version of an Italian standard, fettuccine al burro — fettuccine with butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It was created in Rome in 1914 by chef Alfredo di Lelio and served at his restaurant, Alfredo’s.
Legend has it that in 1927, silent-film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks discovered this dish while honeymooning in Rome. Upon returning to Hollywood, they served it to friends; soon, fettuccine Alfredo was popular — but in a new, American guise.
According to The Italian-American Cookbook by John Mariani and Galina Mariani (Harvard Common Press, $19.95), since American butter and parmesan cheese lacked the richness of their Italian counterparts, cream was added to the sauce to compensate. This version became an Italian-American classic. Although popular in the United States, it never took root in Italy.
Ultimately, Alfredo sauce became a victim of its own popularity. Supermarkets began selling ready-made Alfredo sauces, thickened with flour or cornstarch and sometimes made with cheap ingredients. Many chain restaurants began using the pre-fab sauces, too. Noodles tossed with this convenience product can’t compare with this recipe for fresh fettuccine Alfredo made with Parmigiano-Reggiano, unsalted butter and fresh cream.
Sure, you can make the original Roman recipe now that true Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano is widely available; but the version with cream is divine, and worthy of an occasional calorie splurge.