38/365: National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

Since no food holidays can get pasta me, today we are celebrating National Fettuccine Alfredo Day! (Bad Pun Day is every day in my book. Lucky you).

Fettuccine Alfredo was invented by a guy named Bob. OK, just kidding. His name was Alfredo. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Alfredo Di Lelio owned a restaurant called Alfredo in Rome in 1914. While his wife was pregnant with their first son in 1914, she didn’t have much of an appetite. Since Alfredo liked a woman with a little junk in her trunk, he was desperate to get her to eat again, so he created a dish with fettuccine noodles, butter, and parmesan cheese that he knew she would be unable to resist. He was right, and it was so good he added it to his restaurant’s menu, where it quickly gained cult status. Hollywood stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were honeymooning in Rome in 1920, and stopped in for a plate of Alfredo’s alfredo at Alfredo. They loved the dish so much, they gave Alfredo a golden fork and spoon, and a photo of them eating in his restaurant. He proudly displayed these items on the wall, where they still hang to this day (the restaurant is still open, under the name Alfredo alla Scrofa. Next time I’m in Rome, I’m checking it out). Fairbanks and Pickford helped spread the word, and the dish became wildly popular. Interestingly enough, even though Fettuccine Alfredo is just as popular in Italy and Europe, nobody over there calls it that. It is known, instead, as “Fettuccine al burro;” burro meaning butter in Italian, not a type of ass.

Nowadays, Fettuccine Alfredo is typically made with cream, because butter only didn’t provide quite enough fat and calories. Other ingredients, such as chicken or shrimp, are often added. I used a jar of Alfredo sauce with mushrooms, and it turned out delicious. Not homemade? So what. There is no denying the importance of convenience during this challenge. Besides, we have to work on tomorrow’s food tonight, so…yeah. All hail Bertolli.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Categories: Pasta | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “38/365: National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

    With reference of your article we have the pleasure to tell you the history of our grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, creator of “fettuccine all’Alfredo” (recipe in the world known).
    Alfredo di Lelio opened the restaurant “Alfredo” in 1914 in a street in the center of Rome, after leaving his first restaurant run by his mother Angelina in Piazza Rosa (Piazza disappeared in 1910 following the construction of the Galleria Colonna / Sordi). In this local spread the fame, first to Rome and then in the world, of “fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
    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 “Il Vero Alfredo” (“Alfredo di Roma”) in Rome, Piazza Augusto Imperatore n.30, which is now managed by his nephews Alfredo (same name of grandfather) and Ines (the same name of his grandmother, wife of Alfredo Di Lelio, who were dedicated to the noodles).
    See also the site of “Il Vero Alfredo” (“Alfredo di Roma”) http://www.alfredo-roma.it/.
    We must clarify that other restaurants “Alfredo” in Rome do not belong to the family tradition of “Il Vero Alfredo” in Rome.
    We inform that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.

    Best regards Alfredo e Ines Di Lelio


    • Thank you so much for this information, Alfredo and Ines. We are very honored to hear from you, and trust you are proud of your grandfather’s legacy. Italy has long been a dream destination of mine, and should Tara and I ever find ourselves in Rome, we will indeed visit Il Vero Alfredo!


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