What is Alfredo Sauce?

Fettuccini Alfredo

Alfredo sauce is a classic cream sauce used in countless pasta dishes. Also known as a white sauce or “pasta in blanco”, alfredo blends simple ingredients and turns them into a rich, indulgent delight. But what’s in alfredo sauce, and is alfredo sauce Italian? Salerno’s has been perfecting the alfredo recipe since 1966, and we’ve got the secret to this sauce.


What’s in Alfredo Sauce?

Alfredo sauce is made by melting butter, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese together. Unlike other pasta sauces that use tomatoes as a base, alfredo omits vegetables altogether and uses dairy products to achieve its mouth-watering flavor. Many chefs also choose to add seasonings to taste, such as salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, or Italian seasoning. Though the ingredients are simple, the taste is anything but! This hearty, cheesy combination is enough to elevate any dish. 

Alfredo sauce is most famously paired with fettuccine noodles to make fettuccine alfredo, a customer favorite at Salerno’s! 


Is Alfredo Sauce Italian?

While alfredo sauce is featured on nearly every Italian restaurant menu in the United States, the recipe has an interesting history! Alfredo sauce was originally dreamed up in Rome but it really took off in America in the early 20th century after some American tourists spread the word about their favorite dish while traveling in Italy. Italians have long made pasta dishes “al burro” meaning “with butter”, but the rich and creamy recipe we know and love today was certainly plussed by American chefs who added even more cheese, cream, and butter. It has been adored by pasta lovers ever since!


Who Invented Alfredo Sauce?

Legend and fact blur together when it comes to who invented alfredo sauce. The myth surrounds a man named Alfredo who was trying to comfort his pregnant wife, who was struggling to keep food down. It is said that he threw together some butter and parmesan over noodles and this combination helped soothe her nauseous stomach. 

In actuality, the sauce traces back to a restaurateur named Alfredo di Lelio who named his simple white sauce after himself. At the time, adding butter to noodles wasn’t anything extraordinary; to Italians, it was as commonplace as spreading butter on toast. But adding parmesan cheese to the mix proved to be the secret ingredient that sparked a worldwide phenomenon.


Try Our Classic Alfredo Sauce! 

Salerno’s is here to satisfy every pasta-loving palate, so whether you’re craving our creamy alfredo sauce or want to dig into our hearty marinara, we have all the Italian flavors you’re looking for! Visit us today in Chicago, Oak Park, Lyons, or Bolingbrook, or get your meal delivered when you order online!