Grandma's Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Grandma born and raised in Rome, Italy made what was referred to as a butter and cheese sauce over homemade pasta.

Today in America, Restaurants have adapted this plain style delicious pasta dish that originated in Italy, by adding cream and what we call alfredo sauce here in the US doesn’t exist in Italy.

This is a totally different style Alfredo that came from Italy and originated there by a man who named this dish after himself.

If you are looking for the American version, you will need to add heavy cream to the recipe as this is not that style recipe.

This is an original recipe from my grandmother who lived to be 94 years old came was how her Region in Rome, Italy, and how her family taught her to make it.

Il Vero Alfredo still claims to be the home of “Le Vere Maestosissime Fettuccine all’Alfredo”, the original fettuccine alfredo. It’s the house special, so if you’re visiting Rome,Italy and want to see where this story began, head there.

Scroll down to the recipe card to print off Grandma's fettuccine recipe.

this is authentic fettuccine alfredo on a white plate

this is fettuccine pasta with alfredo sauce

Grandma's Version

If you're used to the American fettuccine, this will not be what you're looking for.

The American version is made with heavy cream, you won't find any in this recipe.

In Rome, Italy where Grandma was born and raised, this is how she taught us to make it and our family still makes it that way today.

Here is our basic recipe, we consider Authentic from her family Region.

Grandma always made her own pasta, the macaroni is very important to get this freshly made or at least from your supermarket dairy case.

this is a white bowl full of fettuccine pasta

Alfredo History

The name fettuccine alfredo is almost completely absent in Italy the way Americans prepare it.

Although there are plenty of pasta sauces that are similarly based on the combination of butter and Parmigiana cheese, the American version and Italian version are completely different.

In 1914, Alfredo di Lelio, a Roman man with a Restaurant in (where grandma was born and raised) was popular among American tourists, and he named his butter and cheese linguine after himself.

these are fettuccine pasta in a white bowl with authentic alfredo sauce

Ingredients You Will Need to Make Grandma's Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

  • fettuccine ( buy the fresh kind in the dairy case)
  • unsalted butter
  • grated cheese around 1/2 pound grated (we like Romano and Parmesan blend)
  • pasta reserved water
  • large shreds of Parmesan or Romano cheese for the top
  • fresh chopped or dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pin for later

this is a pin for later on making fettuccine

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Grandma's Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

Yield: 6
This is an Authentic Version of how this Fettuccine is made in Rome, Italy the way my grandma made it. She was born and raised in Rome Italy.


  • Use the pasta machine to makes fresh wide noodles or buy them fresh in the dairy case.
  • 1 - 1/2 pound fettuccine noodles cooked al dente and drained ( buy the fresh kind in the dairy case)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter softened and smashed with the back of a spoon
  • salt
  • 3 1/4 cups grated Parmesan/Romano cheese around 1/2 pound grated (we like Romano and Parmesan blend)
  • 3/4 cup pasta reserved water or more (note for American version substitute water for heavy cream)
  • larger shreds of Parmesan or Romano cheese for the top
  • fresh chopped or dried parsley


How to cook Grandma's Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

  1. Smash the butter in a large skillet pan with the back of a spoon the add the warm pasta water, place on low heat just to gently warm the sauce around two minutes.
  2. Toss the pasta with cheese in this butter sauce mixture and toss for two minutes to coat.
  3. Add more pasta water if needed to make creamier.
  4. Garnish with large shreds of grated cheese and parsley.
  5. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Fat (grams)
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authentic fettuccine alfredo, pasta, parmesan and butter pasta, Italian pasta dish
pasta, macaroni
Italian, Authentic
Created using The Recipes Generator

this is authentic fettuccine alfredo on a white plate

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Pin for later

this is a pin for later fettucine alfredo recipe

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2012. It was edited and re-published in 2020.


  1. Hayırlı sabahlar, ellerinize sağlık. Çok iştah açıcı görünüyor. İyi hafta sonları.


  2. Mmm. I admit I love the American version but this sounds pretty amazing, too!

  3. Authentic is best without all of the heavy cream.

  4. Thanks for sharing grandmas real deal and the fish from yesterday looks sooo good as does the soup from the day before that

  5. It's such an amazing thing how we Americans break the authentic Italian food traditions and Americanize them...yet, they are terrific. I love the Americanized version of Fettucine Alfredo,which was very popular in the seventies and eighties in just about every Italian restaurant.

    Fettucine Burro e Parmigiano or Pasta in Bianco, is the 'real' Alfredo version in Italy, and every Italian restaurant there have the authentic version on their menu.

    Your grandmother must be orginally from Abruzzi, which is right outside of Rome. I have some long-time friends who are from that area, as well! Delicious and simple pasta, nicely presented:)xo

  6. Fettuccine Alfredo is my FAVORITE! I will have to try it this way, Hubby will be able to eat it too, yay!

    <3 Dana @ This Silly Girl's Life

  7. A very yummy pasta dish. I love that you make homemade pasta too. You are skilled girl. Great recipe as always! Ciao!!

  8. Dear Claudia, A delicious dish, full of flavor and good memories. Blessings dearest. Catherine xo

  9. I much prefer this version. Looks just as creamy.

  10. Oh so delish!
    I'll eat homemade fettucine alfredo any day but refuse to order it when we dine out. You can never tell when the restaurant is going to make it too rich.

  11. I haven't made an alfredo recipe in years, and you have me craving it. Printed and put on the top of my to try pile!

  12. hello, this is a version of pasta that I love (even the rice is delicious as well), but .... their name "Fettuccine Alfredo" is just an American term: D
    we will simply call fettuccine with butter and usually is faster than the pot when you're running late and, for children or for when you're in convalescence in a restaurant you have to ask the purpose and the waiters look at you with tenderness because they think you're not really good: w Italy, as always, is not it? :))
    Try to prepare grating very fine Parmesan: melts with the heat of the pasta and ... wonderful dish <3<3<3
    With my husband would always say, when we get to make a trip to the U.S., the first thing I'll want to eat cherry pie will be in one of your bar and fettuccine Alfredo!
    Thanks for your blog and your recipes: I like very much
    Have a nice day <3

  13. Such a wonderfully delicious looking dish...sounds so easy to prepare…and we all know grandma is always right!! Nicely done, Claudia!!

  14. I'm Italian but I've never made alfredo sauce without cream. I'll have to try this authentic recipe!

  15. THis sounds amazing. Like most good Italian dishes extremely simple but it packs a lot of flavor.

  16. This is how I prefer it - no cream! I always thought Alfredo was an American dish.... fun to see the Italian version. Of course Americans ruin a good carbonara with cream.

  17. Fettucine Alfredo is one of my abslolute favortie Italian dishes! May I include your photo and link to your post on my blog for my "Rome" post where I list Fettucine Alfredo as one of Rome's specialties? Please let me know. I'll make sure to provide correct citation and a link to your post Claudia. Just let me know.


  18. Thank you Claudia for your kind permission. I have your fettucine photo and link scheduled for when I am in Rome on October 13th, but I hope you can follow me when my travel posts begin in Venice next Monday.

    Ciao bella,

  19. I definitely need to try this real Italian version. It looks really super with lots of shaved Parmesan.


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