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Authentic No-Cream Fettuccine Alfredo

Authentic No-Cream Fettuccine Alfredo

Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo

Cream in Fettuccine Alfredo? Might as well pour ketchup on your tiramisu! Some culinary crimes can’t be pardoned, and the Olive Gardenified Alfredo aberration is an affront to Italian cuisine. Authenticity, food lovers, is not synonymous with heavy cream.

Real Alfredo is a delicious tango of butter and parmesan, not some overzealous waltz with cream. It’s a rich, delicate masterpiece, not a dairy dump.

If you are still enslaved to this Olive Garden atrocity, it’s time to stage a gastronomic coup. Our recipe? It’s not just historically authentic, it’s aristocratically al dente.

If we go back to the roots, the original Fettuccine Alfredo was the brainchild of a culinary genius named Alfredo di Lelio. This man, in his Roman trattoria in the early 1900s, came up with the brilliantly simple idea of combining butter and parmesan to dress pasta. No cream. No malarkey. Pure, unadulterated gastronomic bliss.

But then, as with all good things, someone had to come along and say, “Let’s add heavy cream.” Enter the Olive Gardens of the world, with their insatiable desire to super-size everything, even elegance. They turned Alfredo’s minimalist masterpiece into a calorie-laden catastrophe, a dairy overdose of a dish.

Why, oh, why? Was the butter-parmesan harmony too subtle for your palates? Or was this just another attempt at culinary colonization, an attempt to slap your own stamp on a classic?

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Well, enough is enough. It’s time to reclaim the fettuccine Alfredo from the clutches of cream-pushing impostors. Our recipe strips away the cream-coated layers of lies and delivers a plate of pasta so authentic, you’ll feel like you’re dining in Alfredo’s original Roman trattoria.

Your pasta redemption awaits.

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Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo

Authentic No-Cream Fettuccine Alfredo

  • Author: Kalle Bergman
  • Total Time: 17 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


Dump the cream and unleash your palate with an authentic, no-nonsense, butter-and-parmesan Fettuccine Alfredo. Pasta redemption starts here.


Units Scale
  • 16 ounces (450 grams) fettuccine
  • 1/2 pound (227 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (150 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg for garnish


  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon (15 grams) salt, then add the fettuccine and cook according to package directions (or until al dente). Reserve 1 cup (235 mL) cooking water, then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt half the butter and transfer to a large serving dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (40 grams) cheese. Slice the remaining butter into thin pats and set aside.
  3. Transfer cooked pasta to buttered platter. Top with pats of butter and remaining cheese. Toss with tongs or large fork and spoon to thoroughly combine pasta with cheese and butter. Add pasta water as needed to make a sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Garnish with additional cheese and freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian
View Comments (2)
  • I’ve always wanted to try a traditional alfredo but I tend to leave indulgent meals like that for restaurant dining (hurts less). Maybe I’ll just have to make my own afterall.

  • Finally someone has gotten it right! No more wall paper paste…It is my understanding that the original Alfredo’s in Rome made this dish tableside in much the same way as you discribe only they used heavy cream instead of pasta water–all you need is fresh or imported fettucine cooked al dente–hot!!!added to a large bowl with butter and quickly tossed, use just enough butter to coat the pasta–n o puddles! Then add Parmisano Reggiano and toss. Finally, add just enough heavy cream to coat the pasta…taste, adjust, serve!

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