Continuing our feature of Culinary Arts students and their exam recipes, Mae Berard has chosen a very interesting dish. Known in Italy by many different names, and seldom by this one -- fettuccine alfredo is simple, "stick to your ribs" comfort food.
Pasta, cheese and butter are the perfect partners and have a long history both in Italy and abroad.
It is Alfredo di Lelio, a Roman restaurateur, who first served it with his own name attached in 1914 as a variation of fettuccine al burro (with butter). In fact, he doubled the amount of butter used in the original version.
His creation became famous when Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks stopped in and fell in love with the dish while on their honeymoon in 1920. Mr. and Mrs. Fairbanks served this with delight to their guests on their return to Hollywood.
Having sold his restaurant in 1943, di Lelio opened another called "Il Vero Alfredo" (the true Alfredo) where the tradition continues to this day.
The measurements are precise, as is expected from a student, to make 2 servings. Use about 115 grams (4 oz) of dry pasta per person.
228 g (8 oz) fettuccine
50 g (31/2 tbsp) unsalted butter
90 g (3 oz) onion, finely diced
90 g (3 oz) smoked bacon, chopped
200 g (7 oz) mushrooms, sliced
80ml (1/3 cup) white wine
80ml (1/3 cup) 35 per cent cream
5 ml (1 tsp) oregano
5 ml (1 tsp) basil
60 g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated and a little extra for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste.
1. Boil the pasta and drain.
2. In a fry pan add the butter, onions and bacon, then sweat them till transparent.
3. Add the mushrooms and sauté till cooked.
4. Add the wine and reduce for a few minutes then add the cream, oregano and basil.
5. Add the pasta and then finish with the Parmesan cheese.
6. Garnish with garlic toast and basil leaf and fresh parmesan on top.