Recipe: Fettuccine Alfredo (video)

Fettuccine Alfredo is a fast and easy pasta recipe that is sure to satisfy. Rich, creamy and utterly delightful, Alfredo sauce is pure decadence. The few simple ingredients are butter, garlic, shallots, cream, Parmesan cheese, fresh ground black pepper and fresh Italian parsley. This is particularly good with fresh or homemade pasta. Because it is so rich, a little goes a long way with this dish. Watch the video below on how to  make fresh fettuccine.

Pasta101 Cookbook photo


This recipe is featured in the cookbook: "Pasta 101 - 12 Easy Pasta

Recipes You Can Make in Under 30 Minutes."


Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

SEE ALSO: How to Make Fresh Pasta by Hand (3 videos)

SEE ALSO: How to Make Fresh Fettuccine using a machine (video)

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The Back Story to This Comfort Food...

Legend has it that pasta Alfredo originated in Rome in 1914 by a restaurateur by the named of Alfredo Di Lelio. I can personally confirm that this legend is true because Alfredo's nephew, Ines De Lelio, was kind enough to leave me a comment with a brief history of the famous family recipe! (See inset below) Alfredo's version, originally created for his pregnant wife, was a simple dish that used just three high-quality ingredients: butter, Parmesan cheese and fresh black pepper. The hot pasta and a splash of the starchy pasta water would melt the butter and cheese and form a simple but delicious dish. He eventually opened a restaurant in New York which is where the Italian-American version, made with cream, came to be famous. In Italy, it is still made with just butter and cheese. The pasta Alfredo we know today is a rich dish often made with garlic and shallots and the addition of heavy cream, crème fraîche, cream cheese, or even a béchamel sauce. There are a wide variety of recipes and cooking methods to choose from. Here is a great video on how to make a creamy fettuccine Alfredo. See my remarks below regarding the ingredients and serving size.

Visit the Current Alfredo Restaurant in Rome, Il Vero Alfredo (the True Alfredo)

"HISTORY OF ALFREDO DI LELIO CREATOR IN 1908 OF “FETTUCCINE ALL’ALFREDO”, NOW SERVED BY HIS NEPHEW INES DI LELIO, AT THE RESTAURANT “IL VERO ALFREDO” – “ALFREDO DI ROMA” IN ROME, PIAZZA AUGUSTO IMPERATORE 30 With reference of your article I have the pleasure to tell you the history of my 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 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”), whose fame in the world has been strengthened by his nephew Alfredo and that now managed by his nephew 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 website of “Il Vero Alfredo”. I must clarify that other restaurants "Alfredo" in Rome do not belong to the family tradition of "Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma" in Rome. I inform you that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo –Alfredo di Roma” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale." -- Best regards Ines Di Lelio

My recipe below uses a full pound of pasta (the amount in a typical package or box of store bought pasta) and makes enough for 4 generous dinner servings, 6 lunch servings or 8 small but delectable starter portions. I found the measurements in the video a bit odd so I took the liberty of making it simple and easy. To make my recipe below for 2 people, just cut everything in half. See? Easy. I also added a lot of black pepper but you can season to taste. GREAT SOLUTION FOR LEFTOVERS: Add cooked chicken or seafood and a fresh green veggie like spring peas or thin asparagus (cut to bite size pieces) for a wonderful one-bowl dinner. Simply add the veggies to the pasta in the boiling water about 2 minutes before the time on the box recommends. By the time the pasta is al dente, the veggies are done. Make sure you check the pasta before draining as adding the veggies slows the cooking down just a bit. Once the pasta is ready, drain it all together, put it back in the pot and add the chicken or seafood, the sauce, cheese, black pepper and parsley. Put the pot back on low for a minute or 2 to heat through and serve immediately. A crisp green salad, loaf of crusty bread and a dry white wine make it the perfect meal. Excellent for date night or as super easy special occasion celebration dinner. 

Recipe: Fettuccine Alfredo

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serves 4 for dinner, 6 for lunch, 8 as a starter

Recipe: Fettuccine Alfredo

Alfredo sauce is a buttery, creamy decadent delight that is rich and satisfying! I prefer mine with plenty of fresh ground black pepper as it adds a wonderful touch of peppery spice to the sweetness of the cream. Adding lots of fresh parsley right at the end adds a nice bright note as well. Perfect in a small portion as a starter. Follow with a light fresh fish entree and green salad for the perfect meal. Try adding cooked chicken or shrimp to this recipe for a luscious, one-dish dinner.


  • 1 (16 oz.) package of fettucine
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1 small shallot, minced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream (or whipping cream)
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
  • a generous handful of FRESH Italian parsley, rough chopped (Reserve a few sprigs for garnish)
  • Plenty of FRESH ground black pepper to taste


  1. Put a large pot of cold water on to boil. (4 quarts for a pound of pasta)
  2. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add a handful of salt and drop in the pasta.
  3. Bring the water back to a boil stirring occasonally to prevent sticking.
  4. Cook the pasta al dente (just firm to the bite).
  5. If adding veggies, add them 2 minutes before the pasta is done. Reserve a half cup of the starchy pasta water.
  6. As the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Add the minced shallot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring gently.
  8. Add the garlic and stir, cooking gently for a minute or 2 until fragrant. (don't let the garlic brown or burn or it will become bitter!)
  9. Add the cream and stir together. Add a few cranks of black pepper to taste. Heat the cream until it is just bubbly around the edges. Don't allow it to boil! Remove the cream sauce from the heat once hot.
  10. Drain the pasta in a colander and add it back into the hot pot. Add the cream sauce. Use a spatula to scrape the edges of the saucepan to get every last drop of deliciousness!
  11. Toss the pasta and cream sauce together until the strands are completely coated. Add 1 cup of the grated cheese and continue to stir.
  12. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water if needed to smooth out the sauce.
  13. Add the chopped FRESH parsley and stir in just before serving.
  14. Garnish with a few cranks of fresh black pepper, the remaining grated cheese and a few sprigs of parsley. Serve immediately.


This is a fast and easy recipe made with just a few key ingredients. Rich, creamy and delicious, this is a favorite recipe for all ages.

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