If you think Alfredo is just another fancy name for Spaghetti Carbonara, then you are indeed wrong. They might have similar features – creamy white sauce with pasta but the Alfredo that we know today is actually made with butter, heavy cream, Parmesan Cheese, minced garlic and sprinkles of parsley while Carbonara is traditionally made with Pecorino Romano, eggs, guanciale and a dash of black pepper.
While Carbonara is often served with ham or chicken, today’s Alfredo is served with shrimp or chicken. Initially, the Alfredo had a simpler recipe – fettuccine, butter, Parmesan cheese and pasta broth.
Who invented the Alfredo Spaghetti?
The Alfredo sauce was an invention of a Roman Chef by the name of Alfredo Di Lelio, hence the origin of the name and it was originally served with Fettuccine. The Alfredo sauce itself had 3 main ingredients – butter, Parmesan cheese and pasta broth. Chef Alfredo had initially created the recipe to help his pregnant wife who didn’t have much appetite and was losing weight because of it. It was originally served with Fettuccine as the pasta was wide enough to soak in the creaminess of the simple Alfredo sauce.
How Alfredo was introduced to the world
In 1914, Alfredo began serving his famous Alfredo Fettuccine in his restaurant and not long after, American Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford – famous silent movie stars at the time, took notice of the dish while they were on their honeymoon in Rome and fell in love with is so much that they started a PR campaign for Alfredo Fettuccine to their friends in Hollywood.
The duo made a specially engraved golden fork and spoon to be gifted to Alfredo and the Hollywood press was quick to report on this incident. Eventually, Hollywood stars gathered in Rome to have a taste of the famous Alfredo Fettuccine. While Hollywood stars gather for the famous Alfredo, Italians would gather nearby to get a glimpse of the Hollywood stars.
The Alfredo Fettuccine was a hit in America, but to the Italians, it was just another pasta with cheese. When the popularity of Alfredo Fettuccine took over the American market, the American butter and Parmesan cheese didn’t have as much richness compared to the traditional Parmesan Cheese in Italy, so American Chefs started substituting the Parmesan Cheese and Butter with Heavy Cream. The Americans started reinventing the Alfredo sauce to fit the American taste buds eventually we have the Alfredo Sauce that we know today which uses ingredients such as heavy cream, some garlic, Parmesan cheese, butter and parsley for some added freshness.
The Alfredo sauce became so popular in America that it was eventually bottled and sold in stores. Due to its popularity, people start having Alfredo sauce with all different kinds of pasta. Americans also started putting in protein into the dish, and today, we often hear dishes such as Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti or Seafood Alfredo.
How to make Simple Alfredo Spaghetti
To make the Alfredo Sauce, melt the butter and cream in a saucepan and add your minced garlic and seasoning like salt and parsley. When the garlic is cooked (you can easily tell by the strong garlic smell), add in a handful of Parmesan cheese and whisk until the cheese starts to melt, forming a smooth and thick cream sauce. If you intend to add in protein, you should cook them separately before adding it into the sauce. Once your sauce is done, toss in the cooked spaghetti, stir and voila!
If cooking is not your skills, then there are actually a number of restaurants in Malaysia that sells the Alfredo Spaghetti. The Red Lobster has its Signature Shrimp Linguine whereas Table9 in Bangsar offers the Alfredo Pasta – which is the Alfredo sauce on a bed of hearty spaghetti.
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