This Restaurant Introduced Fettuccine Alfredo To The US

Fettuccine Alfredo is a simple dish, yet so rich and delicious. The original recipe for the creamy sauce had just butter and Parmesan cheese (via Today). Yet most American versions of the dish also use heavy cream, as it's not as easy to find high-quality Parmesan like you can in Italy. The simple pasta can also be jazzed up with the addition of chicken or flavorful mushrooms

Whatever ingredients you like in your fettuccine Alfredo, it can definitely be a comfort food. And it turns out, that is just why the original recipe was developed. The story goes that Italian chef Alfredo di Lelio first made the pasta for his ailing wife, Ines, in 1914. But why she was ailing is up for debate. One story, per Ozy, is that she was suffering from morning sickness and couldn't eat much, so he came up with a simple dish for her. Another, according to Forbes, is that Ines just had a baby and didn't have much of an appetite, so he whipped up the dish for her. Either way, the entree was a hit and he started to serve it at his restaurant.

A Hollywood beginning

But how did fettuccine Alfredo end up becoming popular in the U.S.? You might not think of Hollywood when you think of the pasta, but the first restaurant in America to serve it was the Musso and Frank Grill, thanks to a couple of silent movie stars. Ozy explains that in 1927 on their honeymoon in Rome, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks ate at di Lelio's restaurant and loved the fettuccine Alfredo. After some coaxing, the chef gave them the recipe and they took it back to one of their favorite restaurants in Hollywood, the Musso and Frank Grill.

The website for Musso and Frank Grill says that the movie stars asked their chef, Jean Rue, to prepare the pasta for them. Although the restaurant didn't put fettuccine Alfredo on the menu until later, they still serve the pasta today, using the original recipe that Rue prepared for the couple.