February 7 is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day. You don’t get the status as one of the most popular pasta dishes created without good reason. Fettuccine Alfredo is an Italian (obviously) pasta dish consisting of fresh fettuccine tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese. It’s simple yet delicious. It’s so tasty that it deserves a day all to itself. Whether you are dining out or doing a spot of home cooking, make sure that Fettuccine Alfredo is on the menu on February 7.
History of National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
The beginnings of this dish can be traced back as far as the 15th century, where there are records of Italian cook Martino da Como cooking pasta with butter and cheese which was known as “macaroni romaneschi” or Roman pasta.
The true inventor of fettuccine alfredo though is Alfredo Di Lelio. The Italian restaurateur was trying to entice his wife, Ines, to eat after giving birth to their first child Armando in 1908. He created a recipe that included a blend of noodles, cheese, and butter, and in turn, created a delicious creamy texture.
Fettuccine Alfredo became a go-to meal for his wife and because the dish turned out so good, Di Lelio added it to the menu in his mother’s restaurant, Piazza Rosa. The dish became a massive hit and Piazza Rosa became known as the birthplace of Fettuccine Alfredo. In 1914, Alfredo Di Lelio opened up his own restaurant in Rome called “Alfredo” and later opened up another restaurant with his son in 1950. In 1977, he opened up a version of the restaurant in New York City, where it became a popular hit.
The dish first made its way to America in the 1920s. American travelers were returning home and reporting on it to such an extent that the dish and Alfredo’s restaurant featured in multiple magazines and guidebooks. The dish’s popularity has only grown since, with chains such as Olive Garden popularizing their own version. By 2005 the dish was so popular that it was given its own holiday and the first National Fettuccine Alfredo Day was celebrated.
National Fettuccine Alfredo Day timeline
Alfredo takes over New York
Another Alfredo's opens near Rockefeller Center in New York.
Like Father, Like Son
Di Lelio and his son Armando opened up a restaurant called II Vero Alfredo, which means “the true Alfredo.” The restaurant is now managed by Alfredo’s grandchildren.
Di Lelio sold the restaurant to a new owner, however, it’s originality remained.
Fettuccine Alfredo hits the U.S.
Famous American actors Douglas Fairbanks and his wife Mary Pickford tried the dish for the first time while visiting Alfredo Di Lelio’s restaurant. They loved it so much they asked for the recipe to take back with them to the United States where it became extremely popular.
Alfredo di Lelio gets cooking
Alfredo di Lelio begins working in the restaurant owned by his mother, Angelina.
National Fettuccine Alfredo Day FAQs
What is the original recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo?
The original recipe consisted of noodles, three kinds of flour, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
When is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day?
How is the dish popularized in America versus Italy?
In America, Fettuccine Alfredo is most commonly served as a main dish whereas, in Italy, it is typically served as an appetizer.
How To Celebrate National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
Make your own Fettuccine
Check in the gift ideas where you can find a pasta machine. Making your own noodles is easy and fun! The recipe is very simple, but you don't have to stop there. Get creative and add spinach or zucchini. Become a noodle-making wizard!
Host a Fettuccine Alfredo party
Got your pasta machine already? Ready to show off your skills? Host a party! Pop open a bottle of chardonnay and invite your friends to witness the cooking process right in front of them. Even if you don't make the pasta, making Fettuccine Alfredo is a "performance," and that means sharing it with friends is fun. Gather everyone around the table and mix up a fabulous meal right before their eyes. They'll thank you for it.
Play with the recipe
There's no need to stick with a single recipe. Get creative with it. Garlic and capers add great flavor textures. How about adding some protein? Alfredo goes great with nearly everything. Throw in some pan-seared scallops or broiled tuna. Alfredo sauce practically begs to be married with crab. Add some roasted chicken, or get really crazy and do surf and turf with crab and chicken! The sky is the limit!
5 Facts About National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
It started in a family business
In 1908, Alfredo Di Lelio created Fettuccine Alfredo in his mother’s restaurant.
It runs in the family
In Rome, Alfredo Di Lelio’s grandson Ines Di Lelio serves Fettuccine Alfredo at a place called Piazza Augusto Imperatore 30.
It continues for years to come
Ines Di Lelio celebrates National Fettuccine Alfredo Day every year in his restaurant.
It’s an attraction
Today, Piazza Rosa is a tourist attraction you can visit in Rome. Many people travel there to visit this restaurant.
Americans love Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo gained more attention in the U.S. than it did in Italy.
Why We Love National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
Making Fettuccine Alfredo is a performance
It's not just for eating, it's for watching. The recipe is so simple it can be assembled at the table in full view of the guests. Fettuccine Alfredo has been called, "maestosissime fettuccine all'Alfredo." This translates into, "Most majestic fettuccine, Alfredo style." The preparation before guests has been described as a "Spectacle reminiscent of grand opera." Servers would raise the noodles high in the air, displaying them in grand style before serving them. How often are dinner and a show one and the same thing?
Fettuccine Alfredo has health benefits
Not every tasty food is also nutrient-packed. Fettuccine Alfredo provides 18 grams of protein and 30 percent of the daily recommended intake of calcium. Protein helps you immune system function and calcium is vital for bone strength and heart health. Like seeing your food? This dish provides plenty of vitamin A and that's good for preventing blindness and infections. So eat up!
Fettuccine Alfredo wins gold
Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of their day. They were on their honeymoon when they tried the amazing dish for the first time. Like most people, they fell in love on the spot. They were so amazed they donated a golden fork and spoon set to the dish's creator, Alfredo Di Lelio. Ever after he served his clients with the golden utensils. How many other dishes are worthy of golden cutlery? Not many. We don't all have golden spoons to donate but we can still love to eat it.
National Fettuccine Alfredo Day dates