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4 Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo or the Pasta of Love

fettuccine alfredo
There aren’t many foods sexier than Fettucine Alfredo. And there aren’t many foods that are simpler to make. I am sure we could have a discussion on other sexy foods such as lobster and truffles and caviar and oysters, and let’s not forget chocolate, but those sexy foods, (besides the chocolate) aren’t easily served to those under the age of 18. (Though I bet my kids would have eaten them.).  In our house Valentine’s Day was about family. We had the red balloons, the red candles, the red flowers and always a stuffed animal. Even if Valentine’s Day fell during the week I always went out of my way to make dinner special. Yes, that is how memories are created and by God, my kids will remember Valentine’s Day!
fettuccine alfredo
Often I made pasta, because what kid doesn’t like pasta? Sometimes when they got older we had steak. But I believe this Fettuccine Alfredo was often on the menu. From a cook’s perspective there isn’t much that is simpler to make, and from a diner’s perspective it is hard to beat sensuous noodles glazed with cream and butter topped with rich, snowy flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano.
I’ve seen so many versions of fettuccine that are ruined by the addition of flour and or cream cheese when, jeez people, don’t they realize that this is all it takes? Fettucine Alfredo does not contain garlic. It really doesn’t. It doesn’t contain flour and it doesn’t contain cream cheese or milk. It contains cream. Heavy cream. The dieter’s nemesis. The diner’s delight! It contains butter, not oil or God forbid margarine. And no garlic. Please no garlic. One wants the creaminess of the sauce to delight your taste buds. The silky, rich duo of just cream and butter and cheese.   It contains not much in the way of ingredients, but those simple ingredients combine to make a dish that everyone craves. It may or may not have a brief grating of nutmeg, but that is up to you.
I often served the fettuccine with  steak, but that was a lot of richness. I’m happy to just have this with a salad and garlic bread. And red wine. I love this with red wine. I know most would say white, but not me. Now if I had a truffle, I would shave some on top. But I don’t have a truffle so I will not. If I had some grilled shrimp, those would work well on the side. But I do not have grilled shrimp so I will just devour this quite simply noodle by noodle, and then ask for the chocolate cake. Which goes very well with red wine, too!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo 
From: Marcella Hazan
Time to Make: About 15 minutes
1 lb of the best Italian fettuccine
1 c heavy cream
3 T butter
2/3 c freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano and more for serving
4-6 grinds of freshly ground pepper
A tiny shaving of nutmeg, which is optional
Boil pasta in well salted water, according to directions. Please only cook this al dente! No mushy pasta! Drain well.
In a large pot that can accommodate all the pasta, put in 2/3 c of the cream and all the butter and simmer over medium heat for less than 1 minute, until the butter and cream have slightly thickened. Set aside. When pasta is cooked, add it to pot with butter and cream. Turn the burner to low and toss the fettuccine, coating the pasta with the sauce. Add the rest of the cream, all the cheese, 1/2 t salt, pepper and nutmeg if you want. Toss briefly and serve with more grated cheese.

Fettuccine Alfredo
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Fettuccine Alfredo is made with just 4 ingredients according to a famous Italian chef. She is right. Everyone loves it. #pasta #fettuccinealfredo #entrees

More to Try:
Spaghetti Bolognese
Ziti Al Fresco
Porcine Mushroom Lasagna
Linguini with white Clam Sauce
Chocolate Lava Cake
Quick Chocolate Cake


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  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    February 12, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Yup. This is the way I make Fettuccine Alfredo too. Why mess with a classic? Particularly one that's so good? Red wine is a good choice, although I'd opt for champagne. Because champagne is Mrs KR's favorite tipple (why couldn't she like beer? So much more affordable!) so I wouldn't have any choice int he matter. 🙂

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 13, 2016 at 3:21 am

      Well, it seems that Mrs. KR has very good taste! She did choose you, right?

  • Reply
    mimi rippee
    February 12, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    My recipe that I've always used comes from the old set of time life books. It's equal parts butter, cream and cheese! Nothing else!!! I bet it's really similar to yours!!! Definitely sexy.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    That is my daughters favorite pasta! Once we went to an Italian restaurant – she was about 8 at the time. When asked for her order, she replied that she wanted "plain spaghetti, with a pat of butter and fresh Parmesan cheese." A few minutes later the Chef came to the table asking why Hannah didn't order a red sauce for her pasta. I explained that she didn't like red sauce, and asked him to please make her spaghetti with butter and fresh Parmesan cheese like she asked.

    His reply was "she's never had MY red sauce!" and walked away. What happened next floored me – the server brought her pasta with . . . red sauce. I was so mad!

    We swore we'd never go back, and I read in the paper that the restaurant went under a mere three months later. 😀

    Happy Friday Abbe! 😀

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 13, 2016 at 3:22 am

      Unbelievable! Deserved to close. This was always Zoe's fave, too!

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    February 13, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Definitely a heavenly dish! One of Tom's favorites—I'll definitely treat him to Marcella's version one Sunday night when he's over for dinner!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 13, 2016 at 3:23 am

      I just love Marcella! Now those are books that would be fun to cook from, Liz! Happy Valentine's Day!

  • Reply
    Karen Harris
    February 13, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Who doesn't love this dish? This and spaghetti carbonara could please any child's taste buds. Happy Valentine's Day!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 13, 2016 at 3:23 am

      Hope you are feeling better! This would please anyone's buds, but kids just gravitate toward it!

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    February 13, 2016 at 10:34 am

    It has been ages since I last had some pasta! This looks so inviting with just a few of ingredients.
    Have a great Valentine's Day!

  • Reply
    Sippity Sup
    February 14, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Ts the season for sexy food! GREG

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    February 14, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    You can't go wrong with any of Marcella Hazan's recipes.

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    February 15, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Oh yeah:)

  • Reply
    February 15, 2016 at 3:45 am

    I usually don't make Fettuccine Alfredo because it is just too darn tempting. I love it so much that I could eat the whole batch. But thanks to your wonderful and easy recipe, I'm now craving this!!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 17, 2016 at 5:02 am

      It is a hard one to resist? But once a year is OK!

  • Reply
    February 15, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Isn't this the best way to serve fettuccine? The best pastas have the fewest ingredients, Abbe. This is such a tasty pasta and definitely suitable for a romantic dinner for two.

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      February 17, 2016 at 5:03 am

      My daughter did make it for Valentine's Day. I'm always glad when memories become reality!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    February 15, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Simple, pretty, cheesy and delicious – works for me! Thanks Abbe 🙂

  • Reply
    February 18, 2016 at 2:18 pm


    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 also the website of “Il Vero Alfredo”.
    I must clarify that other restaurants "Alfredo" in Rome (as Alfredo alla scrofa or Alfredo’s gallery) do not belong and are out of my brand "Il Vero Alfredo – Alfredo di Roma".
    I inform you that the restaurant “Il Vero Alfredo –Alfredo di Roma” is in the registry of “Historic Shops of Excellence” of the City of Rome Capitale.
    Best regards Ines Di Lelio

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