Fettucini Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo
tim buckner/E+/Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
852 Calories
73g Fat
39g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 852
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 73g 93%
Saturated Fat 45g 225%
Cholesterol 203mg 68%
Sodium 392mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 207mg 16%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 203mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Italy, these egg noodles, known as fettuccini all'ouvo, are generously coated in butter and Parmigiano, a creamy concoction that gently coats the ribbons of pasta. The result is a decadent dish, so simple and yet so complex. What most people in North America know as Alfredo sauce, however, has cream and cheeses besides Parmigiano or Grana Padana. The result is a tasty, creamy sauce, but one that's very different from the classic butter-and-cheese sauce in the Roman Alfredo dish. For this recipe, we took inspiration from the original ricetta (recipe), but we did add a splash of heavy cream to make the dish come together in the beloved American way. A few simple ingredients and just 25 minutes are all that you need to sit down to a delicious bowl of pasta that's excellent with a simple green salad.

The dish that came to be named fettucini Alfredo was originally called ​fettuccine al burro and consisted of fettucini tossed with butter and cheese. Roman restaurateur Alfredo di Lelio, who tripled the butter content to great fame, came up with the dish while trying to help his wife recover from the exhaustion of pregnancy and birth. She loved the dish and suggested he add it to their café menu—and the rest is history. A few Hollywood stars who tried the dish couldn't stop raving about its deliciousness and helped make it famous. The buttery pasta at this tiny café became a must-eat for American visitors. Nowadays many versions of it exist around the world. Creative additions include grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, mushrooms, peas, bacon, or vegetables. But there's nothing like eating it plain and scooping the leftover cheesy sauce with a piece of crusty bread.

For this recipe, don't skimp on buying a true block of Parmigiano cheese, or its American equivalent Parmesan, as the pasta wouldn't be the same if you were to use a different cheese. Don't buy already grated cheese, as the anti-caking ingredients will make it difficult for the cheese to combine properly with the butter and cream. Parmigiano is the true Italian cheese, made in Italy, and Parmesan is the imitation of it produced elsewhere. True Parmigiano has a superior taste, and a little goes a long way even if it is expensive. You aren't using it in extreme quantities, in any case, as its flavor is as potent as it is delicious. This is a supremely simple dish and every ingredient counts, so choose great quality fettucini, cream, and real butter.


  • 8 ounces egg fettuccini

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Cook fettuccine in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (see my article on reduced water pasta) reserving 1/3 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.

  2. While pasta cooks, bring cream and butter to a simmer in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat with salt and pepper. Add fettuccine and 3 tablespoons of reserved water, and cheese to sauce and toss. Add a touch more cooking water if sauce seems too thick to you.

  3. Serve garnished with chopped parsley and additional cheese on the side.