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The original Alfredo sauce: where to find real Fettuccine Alfredo in Rome

 |  Con te a Roma  |  ,
Fettuccine Alfredo a Roma

After the first lockdown in Rome, Ristorante Alfredo alla Scrofa reopened in summer 2020 with a new menu and even more outdoor space thanks to the launch of Piazzetta Alfredo. Have you booked your table yet?

Read on for the full story behind the real Fettuccine Alfredo in Rome!

When a recipe like Fettuccine Alfredo or Alfredo sauce enters popular culture, it is easy to assume that there was no starting point, that such a dish somehow always existed. But in fact there was an individual named Alfredo who invented the original Alfredo sauce, and the true story of Fettuccine Alfredo begins in a restaurant in the heart of Rome.

In this blog post I will share how I tracked down the real Fettuccine Alfredo in Rome, finding the restaurant that invented this legendary dish and even eating it with the original gold cutlery used by Alfredo himself!

Fettuccine Alfredo a Roma

So put Ristorante Alfredo alla Scrofa on your wish list for your Roman holiday, because this extraordinary place in Via della Scrofa serves the real Fettuccine Alfredo, prepared in an original way, and it is still the best Fettuccine Alfredo you will ever try.

I first came across Ristorante Alfredo alla Scrofa on Via della Scrofa in the heart of Rome almost by chance. I had been sent in search of the original Alfredo sauce, to find the real Fettuccine Alfredo for an article I was writing.

Where is the restaurant for real fettuccine Alfredo?

Alfredo alla Scrofa is located on an elegant street in the historic centre of Rome, where Via della Scrofa widens into an asymmetrical piazza, far enough away from the usual tourist-populated streets to retain an air of real Rome. Here I was welcomed by Mario Mozzetti, heir to the restaurant and guardian of its fine recipe.

The history of fettuccine Alfredo

According to Mario’s story, the recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo dates back to 1914 when Alfredo di Lelio opened his restaurant on this historic street in the centre of Rome. Trying to entice his pregnant wife to eat something, Alfredo mixed Parmesan cheese with three times the usual amount of butter to create a nutritious and tasty dish, Fettuccine Alfredo, essentially egg pasta freshly whipped with melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese.

I think it is important to emphasise how simple – and good – the original ingredients really are. Over the years, this dish has been bastardised – to put it mildly – with the addition of cream, vegetables and even meat. But the original Alfredo sauce or real Fettuccine Alfredo actually contains only three high-quality elements.

Before long, the restaurant achieved considerable fame in Rome not only because this simple and tasty pasta dish was nothing short of a work of genius, but also because of the theatrical way in which the dish was served by Alfredo di Roma.

It still needs a final flutter at the table, as the pasta is tossed and stirred in front of all the restaurant guests, so that when it is served it is soft and velvety, contributing to the recognition of the dish as a symbol of the restaurant itself.

Find the real Fettuccine Alfredo in Rome! This is how they are prepared at Restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa

Fettuccine Alfredo, also appreciated by Hollywood stars

Other elements that helped the dish pass into immortality – beyond Alfredo’s creativity and the quality of the ingredients – were the stories of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, two Hollywood film stars of the early 20th century, who visited Alfredo alla Scrofa and became fervent fans of Fettuccine Alfredo.

During their honeymoon in Rome in 1920 they dined at Alfredo’s in Via della Scrofa and were enchanted. In gratitude for the hospitality they enjoyed and in appreciation of the food, the two actors sent Alfredo of Rome a golden fork and spoon engraved with their names, which is now one of the restaurant’s most precious treasures.

You can imagine how honoured I felt, therefore, when Mario Mozzetti insisted that I try the famous Fettuccine Alfredo, eating with the exact set of gold cutlery that had been given to the restaurant in the 1920s by Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. I immediately felt part of this incredible story, which helped it become an integral part of Italian culinary history.

In 1943, the family – which still runs the restaurant – bought the Alfredo alla Scrofa restaurant to carry on its traditions. Mario Mozzetti is part of that original family and is a charismatic host, together with the warm and welcoming Veronica Salvatori. What can I say? After that interview, in the summer of 2017, we became good friends and they still invite me to drop by the restaurant every time I pass by.

On pasta – butter and parmesan might sound like a strange mixture – but the finishing touch of mixing melted butter with the best quality cheese and steaming pasta at the table ensures that it is served silky smooth with just the right balance of fat to give the dish movement, enhanced by the exquisite savouriness of the cheese. The secret also lies in the quality: Alfredo alla Scrofa uses only Beppino Occelli butter, produced in the Piedmontese Langhe, and Parmesan aged 24 from the famous Gennari cheese factory. It is a great quick dish when you need a burst of energy to explore Rome.

The delicate handmade fettuccine, which cooks in minutes, is also a key part of the dish’s quality. Fettuccine is a type of egg pasta typical of central Italy. The name comes from the Italian word ‘affettare’ (slice), as it is made by slicing thin layers of pasta, which have been rolled into thin, even ribbons.

Dining today at Alfredo alla Scrofa

Chef Mirko Moglioni joined the team in 2020, and I recently went to try some dishes from the new menu he created for Alfredo alla Scrofa. Another exciting new feature for 2020 is the way the restaurant has been able to occupy the entire square on Via della Scrofa, creating a magical outdoor dining experience.

If you’re not in the mood for Fettuccine Alfredo when you visit the restaurant, Alfredo alla Scrofa has a beautiful menu offering a wide range of Roman cuisine and much more. From steamed and fried artichokes in winter, to the freshest fish in season, as well as other first courses, grilled and seared meat dishes and salads, risottos and charcuterie platters, there is plenty to choose from to satisfy a varied dinner.

Among the new dishes I tried, created by Chef Moglioni, I really liked the delicate ravioli filled with pesto and served with green beans, grated roe and rice crackers.

Instead, this particularly ingenious dish combined seared tuna with carrot sponge cake, cream of asparagus and aubergine crisp. Simply delicious and a true triumph of different textures.

Moving on to the main course menu, this tasty meat dish combined pork loin with crispy rind and a bean mix.

I also tried a delicious dessert, a mango parfait on a vanilla biscuit, with dark chocolate cream and passion fruit. Just the right balance of spicy and sweet!

It is a true work of art and deserves to be followed by Alfredo’s artichoke and blood orange bitter: simply excellent.

National Fettuccine Alfredo Day

In case you didn’t know, 7 February is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day. Alfredo Alla Scrofa proudly carries on this tradition with a party or special every year, which sometimes includes a glamorous gala for local celebrities, and sometimes sees the Alfredo alla Scrofa team go out to help the city’s neediest, as happened last year when they set up an impromptu soup kitchen.

Looking for original Fettuccine Alfredo in Rome?

Don’t miss dinner at Ristorante Alfredo alla Scrofa, the original restaurant in Rome that created the real Fettuccine Alfredo or Alfredo sauce, and still serves the best Fettuccine Alfredo in Rome.

As you may have already guessed, I am a true fan of Alfredo alla Scrofa and would recommend this restaurant and try the real Fettuccine Alfredo to anyone hoping to taste a piece of history and tradition when in Rome.

Restaurant Alfredo alla Scrofa, Via della Scrofa 104
Tel: +39 0668806163
Open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner

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