The fettuccine fight - How Alfredo is the most hated in Italy and the most loved in the US

There are 8 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by EJLarson.

  • Fettuccine Alfredo: most Italians will make a wry face when you ask about Alfredo and his fettuccine. They will say 'there is no such thing in Italy' and that 'it was a made up junk food in the States'. And they will be wrong.


    Alfredo di Lelio was as Italian as you can be when you are born, raised and living in Rome. Like many, he had his own restaurant, In 1908 his wife gave birth to their first child in the restaurant's kitchen. Alfredo then invented his famous fettuccine to give his wife calories to regain strength after delivery.

    His wife suggested to start offering this plate to their guests, and the rest is history.


    Now there are two restaurant carrying Alfredo's torch: Il vero Alfredo run by Alfredo III and his sister Ines, and Alfredo alla Scrofa which is in its original location, but that was sold to two waiters by Alfredo II in the 50's.


    Both restaurants are still flourishing thanks to the myth of Alfredo I 'the original', offer cooking classes and are available for events. Both have Italian and English websites, so it is clear that most of their guests come from abroad. However, on Tripadvisor there are positive reviews of the famous fettuccine also by Italian guests.


    [On a side note, any pasta "in bianco" has butter and parmesan only (just not as much as Alfredo put), which still remain my favorite sauce]


    The full story as told by 'Il vero Alfredo': http://www.ilveroalfredo.it/en/history/

    Reviews on Trip Advisor:

    You can find Franchises of Alfredo also in Chile, Mexico, and Brazil.

  • The name of the pasta depends on its size/shape. Spaghetti are round, fettuccine are flat and large.

    If you ever noticed, on Barilla boxes it is sometimes stated a number, which indicates the mold number used.

    There are at least 50 formats of pasta, some are regionals, others are more widespread (like farfalle, fusilli, bucatini, spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle, lasagne). The taste is the same, but the texture changes a lot. Also the way the sauce sticks to them is the main reason why there are different formats. For example, liquid sauces just coat spaghetti, hence when your sauce is high in oil, they are a good fit. If you were to pick a less smooth format, you would eat a lot of oil. If you make a heavier sauce, let's say ricotta and tomato sauce in a cream form, then you might want a crispier format, like fusilli. Matching the pasta format with the sauce is critical to balance the taste.


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  • Here is also a fake branch of Fettuccini Alfredo, However it is called Tagliatelle Alfredo, in San Isidro. The service and the food is acceptable, but the prices are very high. They think they are the Crillon Hotel in Place de la Concorde!

  • In making many pasta dishes, it's crucial that the sauce adheres to the pasta. With oil-rich sauces, like Alfredo, sometimes it won't if the pasta is too dry after draining. Essentially it just slips off the noodle.


    The trick: reserve about a cup of the starch-laden cooking water before draining. Before the sauce is gradually added to the hot pasta, add some of the reserved water and mix. The reintroduced starch will cause the sauce to cling.

  • In making many pasta dishes, it's crucial that the sauce adheres to the pasta. With oil-rich sauces, like Alfredo, sometimes it won't if the pasta is too dry after draining. Essentially it just slips off the noodle.


    The trick: reserve about a cup of the starch-laden cooking water before draining. Before the sauce is gradually added to the hot pasta, add some of the reserved water and mix. The reintroduced starch will cause the sauce to cling.

    I've read that, but never have tried it. Really works? How much starch water per volume of sauce?

  • I've read that, but never have tried it. Really works? How much starch water per volume of sauce?

    You’re actually thinking about going into the kitchen then? I shall alert the press (Times-Picayune?)!


    I do it by eye: when the pasta’s ready to meet the sauce, see if it looks moist - pull a strand and feel. I’ve got a one-cup measure of water ready, and pour maybe a quarter-cup into a pound of pasta, then more if it seems to need it after a light stir with the pasta fork.


    You can’t really hurt anything unless you grossly overdo it and even then, just re-drain.

  • You’re actually thinking about going into the kitchen then? I shall alert the press (Times-Picayune?)!

    No, not really. I'm reading this (and all recipes, cookbooks, cooking tips) as science fiction; were I actually to go into the kitchen, the same story might read like a murder mystery.