Alfredo sauce is a rich and creamy pasta sauce that has become a staple in Italian-American cuisine. It is loved for its smooth texture and indulgent flavor. But have you ever wondered where this delicious sauce got its name?

The Origins of Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce, also known as “salsa Alfredo” in Italian, was created by an Italian chef named Alfredo Di Lelio in the early 20th century. Legend has it that Alfredo first made this sauce to please his pregnant wife, who was experiencing severe nausea and had lost her appetite. He wanted to create a dish that would be both flavorful and easy to digest.

To make his special sauce, Alfredo combined three simple ingredients: butter, Parmesan cheese, and pasta water. He cooked them together over low heat until they formed a smooth and velvety consistency. This creamy sauce was then tossed with freshly cooked fettuccine noodles, creating the classic dish we now know as Fettuccine Alfredo.

The Popularity of Fettuccine Alfredo

Alfredo’s creation quickly gained popularity in Rome, with people flocking to his restaurant to taste the creamy goodness of Fettuccine Alfredo. The dish became so famous that it caught the attention of American tourists visiting Italy.

In the 1920s, Hollywood stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford dined at Alfredo’s restaurant during their honeymoon in Rome. They were so impressed with the dish that they brought the recipe back to the United States with them.

Alfredo Sauce in America

Once Fettuccine Alfredo arrived in America, it underwent some modifications to suit local tastes. While the original recipe contained only butter, Parmesan cheese, and pasta water, American versions often include heavy cream, garlic, and other seasonings.

The popularity of Alfredo sauce continued to grow in the United States, and it became a classic choice for pasta lovers across the country. It can now be found on the menus of countless Italian-American restaurants and has even made its way into supermarket shelves in the form of pre-packaged sauces.


So, next time you enjoy a plate of creamy Fettuccine Alfredo or any dish smothered in Alfredo sauce, remember the Italian chef Alfredo Di Lelio who created this delectable delicacy. With just a few simple ingredients, he managed to create a sauce that has stood the test of time and continues to bring joy to pasta lovers around the world.