Pasta with Alfredo Sauce 1

Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo

Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo – This is a special edition of Cooking with Milwaukee Community Leaders and Cooking with Milwaukee’s Future Leaders. I visit with Sarah O’Neill, who leads the culinary arts program at Vincent HS in Milwaukee, and several of her culinary arts students.

The students prepare an Italian Classic, Fettuccine Alfredo. This is the Americanized version. But tasty nonetheless. The Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo recipe is listed below.

Starting in 2012, MPS helped transform Vincent High School into Vincent High School of Agricultural Sciences. There are six different agricultural areas for students to study. They include animal science, horticulture, agribusiness and entrepreneurship, culinary arts, environmental science, and food science.

Vincent HS is unique in that not only is there a thriving culinary arts program, but the school also sits on 70 acres on the NW side of the City of Milwaukee. On this site, the school manages a barn, a greenhouse, and a large garden.

It also owns cattle, goats, a horse, chickens, and iguanas. The school has plans for a 4-acre forest, an orchard, and beehives for more hands-on learning experiences.


Culinary Arts Training in MPS – Four MPS high schools offer the culinary arts program. The program will help students get a head start in culinary arts and hospitality areas.

Those four schools are Bay View High School, James Madison HS, Harold S. Vincent HS, and Washington High School of Information Technology,

Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo

Fettuccine Alfredo is a dish that many people have on their list of classic Italian dishes. But the dish you see in American restaurants is not really the authentic Italian version.

According to Wikipedia, Fettuccine Alfredo started off as an attempt by the Roman restaurant owner, Alfredo di Lelio, to find something that his pregnant wife, who had lost most of her appetite due to pregnancy, would be able to eat. So, he added some Parmesan cheese to an everyday Italian dish, fettuccine al burro (Fettuccine with Butter), and she couldn’t stop eating it!

He introduced the dish onto his restaurant’s menu in 1914. In 1920, he served the dish to some famous American movie stars, who brought the idea back to Italian restaurants in the States.

For Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo, you need just three ingredients. No, a jar of “Alfredo” sauce is not one of them. You need freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter, and fettuccine.

There’s no cream in Alfredo’s original recipe. Just cheese, mixed with pasta, pasta water, and butter, to create the creamy sauce.

American Fettuccine Alfredo Explained

Americans have a habit of making things unnecessarily rich and bad for you. But, there might be a legitimate reason we Americans added cream to Alfredo sauce.

When Fettuccine Alfredo was introduced in the US, the butter and Parmesan cheese that they had access to was not near the quality of the same ingredients in Italy. The cream was probably added as an ingredient to make up for the lack of richness in the American version of Alfredo.

The authentic Fettuccine Alfredo recipe from Alfredo di Lelio calls for 1/2 lb of butter and 1/2 lb of grated Parmesan cheese per 1 lb of fettuccine.

Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

PREP TIME 5 minutes  COOK TIME 25 minutes  TOTAL TIME 30 min


  • 1 lb. fettuccine pasta
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 1 tsp salt, (to taste)
  • Salt for the pasta water


  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, according to package directions
  2. As the pasta heats, melt the butter over med-heat in a large skillet, preferably non-stick.
  3. When pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and save the pasta water.
  4. Add the pasta to the skillet with the melted butter.
  5. To that, add ½ tsp salt and toss the pasta in the butter to combine
  6. Reduce the heat to med-low.
  7. Add 2 tbsp of cheese and some hot pasta water
  8. Toss the pasta to incorporate the cheese.
  9. Add a little more cheese, a little at a time, and toss, until all the parm has been used.
  10. Add more hot pasta water as needed to melt the cheese so that it coats the noodles. (If you add too much water, it will become a watery sauce.)
  11. Serve right away.


Calories: 663kcal Carbohydrates: 57g Protein: 18g Fat: 40g Saturated Fat: 24g Cholesterol: 193mg Sodium: 346mg Potassium: 258mg Fiber: 2g Sugar: 1g Vitamin A: 1455IU Vitamin C: 0.7mg Calcium: 277mg Iron: 1.6mg

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I do a short interview with my guest, talk about their work in the community, and then cook something at our condo building. They pick whatever we will cook and I act as their sous chef. 

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If you like this recipe for Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo, then you should try our recipe for an Authentic Greek Salad. Or maybe try a Pan-Seared Halibut with a Lemon Butter Caper Sauce

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