Ultimate Fettuccine Alfredo

April  2, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Patrick Wong
Author Notes

I grew up in New York City and I can still remember the first time that I had fettuccine alfredo. Italian restaurants are plentiful and my family frequented Nick's Pizza on the Upper East Side. Known for their signature spikes bread and wood-fire pizza, Nick's Pizza also has a delicious selection of pasta. When were were out with guests one night my mom put some alfredo on my plate and told me I would enjoy it. From that point on, I fell in love with the creamy and delicious dish that I've now ordered all around the world.

It is probably safe to say that I have ordered Fettuccine Alfredo hundreds of times at this point. I have had many variations and talked to many people who have strong opinions about what should go into the dish. There is a debate whether or not cream should go into the dish (traditionalists will swear against this addition). There is talk of whether garlic should be included or if it should be topped with basil or parsley. As with all recipes I believe that no matter what the schools of thought are surrounding food you should always be able to do what makes you the happiest.

My variation of the dish is a bit untraditional and features garlic, cream, and basil. I must admit that while the dish is known as fettuccine alfredo I often times enjoy this dish best with pasta like angel hair, tagliatelle, or pappardelle. If available, fresh fettuccine makes a world of difference.
Patrick Wong

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 2 (9) ounces packs of fresh (like Buitoni or Rana) or 1 lb dried fettuccine
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 8-10 basil leaves, chopped
In This Recipe
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil on high heat. While water is heating prep sauce. Once the pot has come to a rapid boil season heavily with salt and cook pasta one to two minutes shy of package directions (fresh pasta only ever cooks for 1-3 minutes so in this recipe it will cook for only a minute). Your pasta should finish cooking the same time or after your sauce has completed so drop it in the water accordingly.
  2. Sauce: On a cutting board mince the garlic and chop the basil and set aside.
  3. In a sauté pan or pot big enough to fit the pasta add your butter and start melting on medium high for one minute. Add the garlic and constantly stir together and cook for 2-3 minutes (the garlic nor butter should brown so adjust your heat to low if necessary).
  4. Next add your cream, salt, and pepper to the garlic and butter mixture. Turn heat to medium high and constantly stir for 5-7 minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and bubbles form. Once sauce has reached this consistency, add your pasta directly from the pasta pot (if pasta isn't cooked yet, shut off the heat and wait for it to cook).
  5. Once the pasta and sauce are combined cook for an additional minute and turn off the heat. At this point gradually add your parmesan and basil then stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick add hot pasta water a ladle at a time until the sauce reaches desired consistency.
  6. Top with parmesan, pepper, and additional basil as desired and enjoy! This dish has a tendency to be quite decadent which makes a lemon wedge a lovely accompaniment too.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Allison Phillips
    Allison Phillips
  • Emma Wilson
    Emma Wilson
  • Paolo Cuomo
    Paolo Cuomo
  • Vivienne

7 Reviews

Allison P. February 5, 2021
I don't know where I would be without this dish!
Mokellemembe February 5, 2021
Love the recipe! Succulent, rich, and delicious.
Emma W. February 5, 2021
Sohreeeeeee good!! I made this meal every week for the past 2 months
[email protected] February 4, 2021
Wow- 5 stars for a terrific base recipe. Add some lump crab meat and you'll have a meal fit for a king.
Hannahwo17 February 4, 2021
Wonderfully, simple but decadent recipe!
Paolo C. January 26, 2021


With reference to 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” (“Fettuccine Alfredo”) in 1908 in the “trattoria” run by his mother Angelina in Rome, Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi). This “trattoria” of Piazza Rosa has become the “birthplace of fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
More specifically, as is well known to many people who love the “fettuccine all’Alfredo", this famous dish in the world was invented by Alfredo Di Lelio concerned about the lack of appetite of his wife Ines, who was pregnant with my father Armando (born February 26, 1908).
Alfredo di Lelio opened his restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in Rome and in 1943, during the war, he 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 me, 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 the website of “Il Vero Alfredo”.
I must clarify that other restaurants "Alfredo" in Rome do not belong and are out of my brand "Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma".
The brand "Il Vero Alfredo - Alfredo di Roma" is present in Mexico with restaurant in Mexico City and 2 trattorias (Mexico City and Cozumel) on the basis of franchising relationships with the Group Hotel Presidente Intercontinental Mexico.
The restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo” is in the Registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence - section on Historical Activities of Excellence” of the Municipality of Roma Capitale.
Best regards Ines Di Lelio



Con riferimento al Vostro articolo ho il piacere di raccontarVi la storia di mio nonno Alfredo Di Lelio, inventore delle note "fettuccine all'Alfredo" (“Fettuccine Alfredo”).
Alfredo Di Lelio, nato nel settembre del 1883 a Roma in Vicolo di Santa Maria in Trastevere, cominciò a lavorare fin da ragazzo nella piccola trattoria aperta da sua madre Angelina in Piazza Rosa, un piccolo slargo (scomparso intorno al 1910) che esisteva prima della costruzione della Galleria Colonna (ora Galleria Sordi).
Il 1908 fu un anno indimenticabile per Alfredo Di Lelio: nacque, infatti, suo figlio Armando e videro contemporaneamente la luce in tale trattoria di Piazza Rosa le sue “fettuccine”, divenute poi famose in tutto il mondo. Questa trattoria è “the birthplace of fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
Alfredo Di Lelio inventò le sue “fettuccine” per dare un ricostituente naturale, a base di burro e parmigiano, a sua moglie (e mia nonna) Ines, prostrata in seguito al parto del suo primogenito (mio padre Armando). Il piatto delle “fettuccine” fu un successo familiare prima ancora di diventare il piatto che rese noto e popolare Alfredo Di Lelio, personaggio con “i baffi all’Umberto” ed i calli alle mani a forza di mischiare le sue “fettuccine” davanti ai clienti sempre più numerosi.
Nel 1914, a seguito della chiusura di detta trattoria per la scomparsa di Piazza Rosa dovuta alla costruzione della Galleria Colonna, Alfredo Di Lelio decise di aprire a Roma il suo ristorante “Alfredo” che gestì fino al 1943, per poi cedere l’attività a terzi estranei alla sua famiglia.
Ma l’assenza dalla scena gastronomica di Alfredo Di Lelio fu del tutto transitoria. Infatti nel 1950 riprese il controllo della sua tradizione familiare ed aprì, insieme al figlio Armando, il ristorante “Il Vero Alfredo” (noto all’estero anche come “Alfredo di Roma”) in Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30 (cfr. il sito web di Il Vero Alfredo).
Con l’avvio del nuovo ristorante Alfredo Di Lelio ottenne un forte successo di pubblico e di clienti negli anni della “dolce vita”. Successo, che, tuttora, richiama nel ristorante un flusso continuo di turisti da ogni parte del mondo per assaggiare le famose “fettuccine all’Alfredo” al doppio burro da me servite, con
l’impegno di continuare nel tempo la tradizione familiare dei miei cari maestri, nonno Alfredo, mio padre Armando e mio fratello Alfredo. In particolare le fettuccine sono servite ai clienti con 2 “posate d’oro”: una forchetta ed un cucchiaio d’oro regalati nel 1927 ad Alfredo dai due noti attori americani M. Pickford e D. Fairbanks (in segno di gratitudine per l’ospitalità).
Desidero precisare che altri ristoranti “Alfredo” a Roma non appartengono e sono fuori dal mio brand di famiglia.
Il brand “Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma” è presente in Messico con un ristorante a Città del Messico e 2 trattorie (Città del Messico e Cozumel) sulla base di rapporti di franchising con il Group Hotel Presidente Intercontinental Mexico.
Vi informo che il Ristorante “Il Vero Alfredo” è presente nell’Albo dei “Negozi Storici di Eccellenza – sezione Attività Storiche di Eccellenza” del Comune di Roma Capitale.

Grata per la Vostra attenzione ed ospitalità nel Vostro interessante blog, cordiali saluti
Ines Di Lelio
Vivienne December 8, 2021
I have had your wonderful Alfredo in your restaurant. A dear friend, Marco, from Milano, took us there. Fabulous memory. The Alfredo for the two gentlemen were served onto their plates, and my portion was presented the special bowl in which it was prepared.