Mmm. Alfredo sauce. That delicious blend of cream, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Can you think of anything more appetizing, especially when served on fettuccine?
The dish is named after Alfredo di Lelio
, an Italian chef who created a variation of the dish (without cream) for his pregnant wife a little over one hundred years ago, in 1914. He would later open restaurants both in Italy as well as America serving his version of the dish. He would gain quite a bit of notoriety for his dish, thanks in part to silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. Dining in his restaurant during their honeymoon in 1920, they loved the dish so much, they raved to their Hollywood friends about it. They even sent a gold fork and spoon to di Lelio engraved with the words “to Alfredo the King of the noodles” as an expression of gratitude.
To this day, restaurants in Italy serve the dish without the cream, usually calling the dish pasta al burro
, or pasta with butter. The cream was added to the recipe stateside after di Lelio brought his vision of the dish to America. The creamy version is now the standard in Italian-American restaurants, including our mouth-watering version here at Goodfella’s
Nevertheless, Alfredo di Lelio is credited with his heavy butter version of the dish. However, a simpler version of pasta, butter, and Parmesan cheese dates all the way back to the 15th century to a man who may arguably be considered Europe’s first celebrity chef. Martino da Como
was a famous culinary genius in his time. He made his career throughout Italy, cooking for the Cardinal Patriarch of Aquileia
in Rome, followed by a Milanese aristocrat, then finally making his way to the Vatican. He wrote a famous cookbook, Libro de Arte Coquinaria
(The Art of Cooking), which was published circa 1465. In his book, he makes reference to a dish that contains pasta, butter, and Parmesan cheese. For what it’s worth, you can find the text of the book
online in the original Italian.
We invite you to stop in today at Goodfella’s
and order our Fettuccine Alfredo! We don’t have a gold fork and spoon to accompany the dish, but we’d be delighted to pair the dish with some wine!