Alfredo Pasta, the traditional recipe, made with only 4 ingredients, fettuccine, parmesan cheese, butter and fresh black pepper. 15-20 minutes and Dinner is served.
One thing about this recipe you have to make it and serve it, you don’t want it to get cold and then it dries up and the creaminess is gone. It makes the best quick and easy dinner recipe.
- Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
- Butter – salted
- Pasta – fettuccine or linguine are my favorites
- Black Pepper
- Salt – the only salt that should be added is to the boiling water to cook the pasta
Because there are only a few ingredients used in this recipe, it’s always best to choose good quality ingredients. You will notice in this authentic recipe there is no garlic parsley, heavy cream, chicken or broccoli.
Just a few ingredients and a lot of flavor!
What is authentic Parmesan?
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is authentic or DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta which means Protected Designation of Origin), and Parmesan cheese is just an imitation of Parmigiano Reggiano. Reggiano is always made in Italy, while Parmesan can be made anywhere, there are no restrictions on using the name Parmesan. And don’t forget a less expensive but also a DOP choice is Parmigiano Grana Padano.
Why grate your own Parmesan Cheese?
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A couple of reasons it’s better to grate your own. It’s cheaper and it tastes so much better. Packaged cheese tends to have a coating to keep the cheese from sticking together. Not a good thing.
Freshly ground parmesan cheese can be kept in a plastic bag or airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 18 months.
This is definitely a pasta dish for Parmesan lovers and yup I’m one of those. This dish is actually made in Italian homes, when a quick and easy pasta dish is required.
Hot pasta is tossed with a little butter and sprinkled with Parmesan Cheese. Pasta Alfredo is just a richer version of this.
How to make it
In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the fettuccine al dente.
in a medium pan add 1/2 the butter, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 -1 ladle of hot reserved pasta water (about 3-5 tablespoons).
On low medium heat, simmer and whisk together to make a cream.
Add the drained cooked pasta, another 1/2-1 ladle of hot pasta water (or a little more if needed) the remaining butter and parmesan cheese, gently toss together on low heat (for about 1 minute) and serve immediately, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and black pepper.
How to Cook Pasta
Always buy a good pasta and cook till al dente, if it is a good package following the cooking time on the box is a good idea. No need to throw it against the wall, taste one to see if its cooked.
Always cook the pasta in enough water, you will need 4 cups (1 litre) for 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) of pasta. Be sure to choose the correct size pot, you don’t want the water to reach the rim and overflow, because pasta, when cooked, can increase in volume up to three times. Always cover the pot when boiling the water, but remove it once the pasta has been added.
Calculate about 5g (1 teaspoon) of salt for every litre (quart) of water. Add the salt only when the water has reached a boil and never before.
What is the origin of Fettuccini Alfredo?
It originated in Rome by Alfredo di Lelio. He made this dish for his wife Ines who was pregnant with her third child. She craved something that would give her and her baby a delicious taste and energy. And it worked.
So how did it become famous in North America?
Apparently in 1927 Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, on their honeymoon dined at Alfredo di Lelio’s Rome restaurant.
They absolutely loved his Fettuccine Alfredo and when they returned back to the United States they couldn’t speak more highly of this delicious creamy Pasta Dish. Then in 1966, the Pennsylvania Dutch Noodle Company started to market their “Fettuccine Egg Noodles”.
Although their recipe included cream and Swiss cheese together with Parmesan and Butter. A much heavier and not so delicious dish in my opinion!
How to store it
I can’t imagine there being any leftovers, but if there are it should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat the leftover on the stovetop add a little water and extra parmesan cheese, heat on medium heat until heated through.
So if you are craving Fettuccine Alfredo why not try it the Traditional way without the cream!? Buon Appetito!
More Traditional Pasta Recipes
Traditional Alfredo Pasta
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (divided)
- 1/2 cup butter (divided)
- 2 cups long pasta (I used fettuccine)
- 2-3 dashes black pepper to taste
- In a large pot of boiling salted water cook the fettuccine al dente.
- in a medium pan add 1/2 the butter, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 -1 ladle of hot pasta water (about 3-5 tablespoons). On low medium heat, whisk together to make a cream.
- Add the drained pasta, another 1/2-1 ladle of hot pasta water/ 3-5 tablespoons (or a little more if needed) the remaining butter and parmesan cheese, gently toss together on low heat (for about 1 minute) and serve immediately, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and black pepper. Enjoy!