FETTUCCINE ALFREDO

A Love Story

1914

This is the love story of a man, Alfredo Di Lelio, for his Wife. Immediately after giving birth to one of his children, Alfredo’s wife fainted due to her weakness. How can a young cook revive and comfort his beloved lady? Without a doubt, preparing a dish created for the occasion, something to give her strength back, but without weighing her down. Said and done: the first plate of egg-Fettuccine is served, seasoned with butter and Parmesan in right doses and properly stirred!

The young Alfredo Di Lelio, without his knowledge, but thanks to this recipe of love, will become one of the most famous Italian chefs in the world, an international star that comes to life in his dish, the Fettuccine Alfredo.

1920

In Hollywood, during the silent film era, Douglas Fairbanks is known as “The King” and his companion Mary Pickford is certainly no less. After obtaining a divorce from their respective spouses, they lived out their lifelong dream and got married on March 28, 1920, leaving immediately for a long honeymoon in the Old Continent.

This honeymoon brings Mary and Douglas to Rome, in Via della Scrofa, where they taste the extraordinary Fettuccine served by Alfredo!

The two actors fall in love with the dish, with Alfredo and with his restaurant so much that once back home they advertise in such a way that the fame of the Roman dish spreads like wildfire. Actors, directors, producers, writers, musicians, sportsmen, owners, industrialists, anyone who will come to visit Rome will have the desire to taste the Fettuccine Alfredo.

The entourage of Mr. and Mrs. Fairbanks is in fact anything but ordinary, with guests of the stature of George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as well as the various Heads of State who, after making presidential homage to the White House, expressly request to be received by the royals of Hollywood”

1927

The esteem and affection that the Fairbanks felt for Alfredo take the form in 1927 in an original gift thought for the most famous cook of Rome: two cutleries of gold.

To be exact, it is a spoon engraved with the name of Douglas Fairbanks and a fork engraved with Mary’s name and surname. On both of them you can read clearly: “To Alfredo the King of Noodles”.

After the first visit of Mary and Douglas, the premise in Via della Scrofa is a gathering of celebrities, eager to taste the restorative Fettuccine of the legendary Alfredo and, why not, sit at the same table where a charming American actress has just finished lunch. Anyone who passes through the Eternal City is eager to taste the dish of which the whole world talks about!

1943

A crucial year for the ongoing World War, for the city of Rome devastated by the bombings and a turning point for the restaurant in Via della scrofa: Di Lelio, overwhelmingly concerned about the events taking place, for the penalties that limit food distribution , he decides to give up his business to his two trusted men, Giuseppe Mozzetti and Ubaldo Salvatori.

Peppino Mozzetti, from Amatrice, who arrived in the capital, as many others before him, to find an occupation in the catering field, was the cellar man of Di Lelio; Ubaldo Salvatori was the dining hall manager, taking care of everything from the furniture to the equipment, to the service. Again, we talk about love. These two young boys loved their work so much, have esteem and respect for the person who has taught them so much that they preserve not only the name of the premise, but continue their management following the directives of their Master and preserving the original recipe of Fettuccine Alfredo.

La Dolce Vita

The war is over and a not-so-slow recovery will bring Rome to the glitz and splendor of the Dolce Vita. The city is an open-air film set and the streets of the center are full of stars and starlets, chased by hordes of paparazzi looking for a scoop. The most important star-spangled studios choose Cinecittà to shoot their films. And the Fettuccine Alfredo live moments of true glory.

Peppino Mozzetti and Ubaldo Salvatori, with the same passion and skill as Alfredo, keep homogenizing Fettuccine for actors like Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Kirk Douglas and Sophia Loren.

In 1952 the director William Wyler kicks off the filming of “Vacanze Romane”, the first American film shot entirely in Rome with the charming Audrey Hepburn and the handsome Gregory Peck running around the city on a Vespa. The two actors took advantage of the breaks from the set to take a delight in Via della Scrofa with our Fettuccine Alfredo.

Tony Curtis is practically at home, so much that he enjoys stealing Marzio’s jacket, son of Peppino Mozzetti and going around the halls pretending to be a waiter.

Today

It’s been about a century since Alfredo prepared the first plate of Fettuccine.

Today we live in the digital age, we daily use neologisms and English-speaking terms and one of these, “fake”, is often placed next to our Fettuccine. “fake” stands for “imitation”: food journalists, gourmet experts, bloggers or anyone else, is questioning the all-Roman paternity of the dish that in the States is best known as “Fettucini Alfredo”.

Certainly, in that hemisphere the name of Alfredo has been exploited a lot and perhaps even discredited: it is seen engraved on unlikely jars containing so-called condiments for pasta, or on products that for one reason or another, need a call to Italian gastronomy.

The really extraordinary thing, for which it could be asserted that time in the premise in Via della Scrofa seems to have stopped, is that from the beginning of the last century we have never stopped cooking the mythical Fettuccine.

Guardians of this tradition are now Mario Mozzetti and Veronica Salvatori, grandchildren of Ubaldo and Peppino. And here comes the love that goes with the Fettuccine Alfredo: Veronica and Mario are madly in love with their work! Both of them know that they have inherited a great responsibility: to preserve Alfredo’s recipe, to spread its history by introducing it to the new generations, but above all to continue serving “Alfredo’s blondes” every day. With love, respect and dedication.

National Fettuccine
Alfredo Day

The National Day Calendar is an American institution that deals with assigning to every day of the year the commemoration of a particular event, a worthy character or anything else deserve such inscription. On the 22nd of July we celebrate the day of the Cowboy, the 27th of November is dedicated to the Bavarian cake filled with cream, while on the 7th of February are remembered and celebrated the Fettuccine Alfredo.