In this article, we’ve made it clear what authentic Alfredo sauce is, in fact (not sauce itself); how you can make Authentic Alfredo Fettuccine; and how you can make the traditional Alfredo sauce for ready-made pasta noodles at home. So, read the entire article to better understand the most authentic Italian Recipe.
What is Authentic Alfredo Sauce for Alfredo Fettuccine?
There is no such thing as authentic Alfredo sauce. A sauce, by definition, is something that is made separately and then added to the dish.
Alfredo sauce is not made separately, but it is part of the Fettuccine Alfredo recipe. It is made by stirring butter and Parmigiano Reggiano into slightly sloppily drained and still boiling fettuccine noodles.
In Italy, it is known by different names such as pasta in Bianco or pasta al burro—in northern Italy, it’s pasta in Bianco; and in central and southern Italy, pasta al burro is made with extra virgin olive oil and cheese.
The American version you might have eaten is loaded with lots of high-fat cream and extra ingredients. But the Italian version is straightforward.
The authenticity came from only three main ingredients:
Parmigiano – Reggiano cheese
In some places, people add garlic, parmesan, and parsley to the recipe.
What is Authentic Alfredo Sauce’s Origin?
Alfredo is not an actual sauce but a thick paste made with smothering lots of butter with Parmigiano Reggiano inside a dish filled with steaming egg fettuccine.
The source of the Alfredo sauce goes back to 1908 when Alfredo di Lelio, an Italian restaurateur, created Fettuccine Alfredo. He made the sauce of cheese and butter for a dish of noodles that later became one of the staple foods of Italian cuisine that is more famous in America than in Italy.
The original and most authentic recipe is especially served in the restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa in Rome, where American tourists discovered it.
How to Make Authentic Alfredo Sauce and Fettuccine Pasta?
If you want to go authentic, you also need authentic ingredients.
- Unsalted Butter
- Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese / Parmesan
- Egg Fettuccine Noodles
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese / Parmesan
Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese is the top cheese by cheese connoisseurs. It is made with unpasteurized skimmed or partially skimmed milk.
It is not easy to get your hands on the authentic Parmigiano Reggiano outside Italy. Still, you can buy the imitated version of the original Parmigiano Reggiano cheese called Parmesan. Or your best bet is to make it at home using the following recipe.
If you buy it from the market, get the new block of Parmigiano Reggiano grater, which should be no less than 27 months old.
Egg Fettuccine Noodles
You can’t make Fettuccine Alfredo with spaghetti, linguine, durum wheat pasta, or other types of noodles. It would help if you only looked for fettuccine noodles made from thin egg-dough tagliatelle.
Or you can use dried or fresh pasta made from egg dough and not durum wheat-dried pasta. The flavor and texture of egg pasta are essential for this dish.
Here’s how to make homemade egg fettuccine pasta, step by step:
Step 1: Mix the ingredients.
Take a mound of durum wheat flour. Make a well in the center and add all the wet ingredients, such as eggs, olive oil, or water. Use a whisk, fork, or fingers to mix the ingredients until they form a shaggy dough.
Step 2: Knead the dough.
Knead the dough by pressing and punching it with your hand. Work on the surface until the coarse dough forms a shiny, smooth ball. After kneading, allow the dough to rest to relax the gluten and hydrate the flour.
Step 3: Shape the dough and make pasta.
Pasta comes in many shapes, but we need fettuccine here.
Produce sheets of pasta dough using the roller you have. It would be best if you also had a chitarra or any pasta cutter to cut through rolled pasta dough to make fettuccine or linguine.
Once you cut them, it’s your choice to dry or freeze the pasta. Italians prepare their fettuccine fresh, cooking it the same day. However, you can also dry or freeze homemade pasta to extend its shelf life.
Last but not least, you need unsalted butter. The butter should be sweeter compared to the sloppiness of Parmigiano Reggiano.
The right tool
For grating cheese, it’s essential to use the right side of the box grater. The big holed side is suitable for shedding tenderer cheese, but for Parmigiano Reggiano, you need the more delicate, finer side (with the tiny holes surrounded by four Spikes).
Making of Fettuccine Alfredo
Now without further ado, let’s get to the recipe. Here is a step-by-step process of making authentic alfredo sauce or fettuccine alfredo at home.
Bring a pot, 2–4 quarts, of lightly salted water to a quick boil, and roll out the fettuccine noodles. It will usually take 4–6 minutes to cook, depending on the thickness of the noodles.
Do not overcook it; it needs to be a little firmer or al dente with starchy enough liquid.
Meanwhile, your noodles are about to get cooked; take a few knobs of unsalted butter and place them in the bottom of the bowl.
Once your noodles get cooked, drain out the noodles and some of their starchy water.
Note: don’t fully drain them; otherwise, you will not be able to make a sauce.
Use a pair of tongs to add the fettuccine on top of the unsalted butter. Finally, top with a handful of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Toss everything together until combined.
At first, it might seem like some watery mess, but it will become a nice creamy sauce.
Optional: Add salt and pepper to taste.
That’s it! The creamy fettuccine Alfredo is ready to serve.
Real Fettuccine Alfredo from Italian Chefs
You don’t need to add high-fat cream or any other ingredients. You need egg fettuccine, unsalted butter, and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano to make an authentic Italian recipe.
If you want to make only alfredo sauce, use some starchy water from Fettuccine pasta and add into unsalted butter top with cheese and mix following the same technique.
Restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa is known to make a good version of this dish, with handmade fettuccine, super thinly grated cheese, and outstanding chefs’ help. But what’s most important is the fresh ingredients and how the pasta gets worked with the butter and cheese to cream it up, making it exceptionally creamy.
You can see that there is no cream added; the creaminess is created simply by amalgamating the pasta cooking water partially retained when plating, the abundant butter, and the cheese.
How can you alternatively make Authentic Italian Alfredo Sauce at Home?
Alternatively, in most Italian homes, grandmas and mothers make the Alfredo Sauce by combining butter, Parmesan cheese, and full-fat milk cream with a little bit of salt and spices. This sauce will be closest to authentic Alfredo Recipes as we’ve been inspired by an Italian grandma. And we’ve drafted this recipe by following her. It would be best to try it, especially when you want to use homemade or ready-made noodles to make traditional Alfredo Fettuccine.
- 40 grams of butter
- 1 cup of Heavy cream
- 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- A pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp of black pepper
- 150 grams of boiled pasta (you can also use homemade pasta noodles).
- Melt butter in a pan over a low flame.
- When the butter has melted, add heavy cream and keep the flame low. Wait until the cream has become hot enough to let the cheese melt in it.
- Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to it.
- Add cheese into the pan and mix it well so that cheese mixes to make the thick paste or sauce.
- The sauce is ready; add your pasta noodles and some parsley into it and mix it. Let it rest for a few minutes and serve.
Note: keep the flame during the cooking process; otherwise, the fats will be released.
What is the best grated Parmesan Cheese to buy online?
The best Parmesan grated cheese available on Amazon is Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese.
Can I use store-bought pasta noodles to make Authentic Alfredo Pasta?
Yes, you can use store-bought noodles to make original Alfredo Fettuccine pasta. For this purpose, you can follow the alternative Alfredo sauce recipe inspired by an Italian grandma.
Authentic Italian sauce satisfies your hunger but doesn’t make you feel stuffed. All the variations you see in the US and other countries are less authentic. But then again, some people like their pasta or alfredo sauce with added cream. It all boils down to personal preference.
However, the beauty of Italian cuisine is that the recipe is simple and not complicated with too many ingredients. The key to real Italian taste is using fresh ingredients and the proper dish technique.
I hope you will be able to experience the authentic flavor of alfredo sauce at home with the help of this article.