Let’s be honest, while filling our stomachs with the delectably rich and creamy sauce covered pasta we know of as Fettuccine Alfredo, we have all believed at one point that we were eating real authentic Italian pasta. Now let’s be really honest; some of us have even stated out loud that we would love to have authentic Fettuccine Alfredo in Italy. Sorry to be the rain on your parade, but the rich and creamy Fettuccine Alfredo we all love is in fact not Italian!
The Origin Myth of Fettuccine Alfredo
According to the popular myth, Fettuccine Alfredo was created by a man named Alfredo who was trying to help is horribly nauseous pregnant wife. As the story goes, Alfredo’s pregnant wife suffered severely from nausea and could not keep anything down, so in a desperate attempt to help her, Alfredo ran to the kitchen and began to create a dish she could not resist by mixing parmesan and butter and pouring it over fettuccine. Hence, Fettuccine Alfredo was born.
Following his invention, Alfredo sold his recipe to Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks who, in turn, brought the recipe to America. This began America’s obsession with Fettucine Alfredo.
The Reality of Fettuccine Alfredo
While the pregnant wife myth is a fun tourist tale, there is not really any credibility to the story. It is most likely that Alfredo’s wife was eating pasta in bianco, a dish of plain pasta eaten by someone who has an upset stomach. He could have added the parmesan and butter, however, the creamy sauce that we consider Fettuccine Alfredo was not invented until it reached US soil. And of course living in the land where everything can always be better, Americans invented a whole new version of Alfredo that we know today. We made it richer, creamier, added meat and spices and formed it into the staple of American Italian cuisine.
Alright, time to take a deep breath. This may be a lot to handle for those who just had their views of Italian cuisine shattered. Thankfully, I have some good news for you, so dry your tears and put those tissues away. While the creamy saucy version of Fettuccine Alfredo is sadly only an American creation, there are restaurants in Italy that serve the actual Italian version of Fettuccine Alfredo.
Arguably the most popular and self-claiming inventor of Fettuccine Alfredo is the Restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa. Surrounded by pictures upon pictures of current and past celebrities and other famous figures who ventured through the doors, you will fill your stomachs on heaping dishes of the Italian version of Fettuccine Alfredo mixed right in front of you. Upon your first bite, your taste buds and minds will blossom with the delicious taste of parmesan and butter. And you’ve guessed it, nowhere in sight is there white creamy sauce on that plate!
So, for those who dearly love the American version of Fettuccine Alfredo, sadly you will not find it in Italy, but for those who are intrigued by the Italian version, you will not be disappointed!