Fettuccine al Burro

I didn’t grow up with Italian cuisine, which is interesting, considering my French mother cooked various global cuisines over the years, like Ethiopian and Chinese, as well as French. Somehow, Italian got overlooked.

It could have been on purpose now that I think of it. Her first husband, my father, was from Sicily. That marriage didn’t end well.

Fortunately, thanks to the comprehensive Time-Life Foods of the world set of cookbooks that my mother gave me when I got married, I gradually learned about the world of Italian cuisine.

My exploration taught me quickly that the cuisine was not anything like Americanized Italian food that I’d experienced at “bad” Italian restaurants.

Creating Osso Buco and Scaloppine al Marsala, and discovering pesto, were revelations. But one recipe really stood out in “The Cooking of Italy” cookbook, and that was Fettuccine al Burro.

It was and is still for me one of those “to die for” recipes. Practically equal parts butter, cream and cheese melted into fettuccine. What’s not to love?

This recipe is probably what’s better known as Alfredo sauce, but I’ll always call it by the name I first learned, which translates to fettuccine in butter.

Fettuccine al Burro
Egg Noodles with Butter and Cheese
Slightly adapted

8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus a little more
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
12 ounces fettuccine
1 canned white truffle, sliced very thin, optional
Extra freshly grated Parmesan

Cream the softened butter by beating it vigorously against the sides of a large, heavy bowl with a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the cream a little at a time, and then, a few tablespoons at a time, beat in 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Set aside.

Bring the water and salt to a bubbling boil in a large soup pot. Drop in the fettuccine and stir it gently with a wooden fork for a few moments to prevent the strands from sticking to one another.

Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally until the pasta is tender. Use the package instructions for guidance.

Immediately drain the fettuccine into a colander then transfer it at once to the bowl the toss until every strand is well coated.

Taste and season generously with salt and pepper. I use white pepper.

Stir in the optional truffle, if using. I know for a fact that 30+ years ago I never used truffles because I was pretty confused as to why one would put chocolate in pasta!!! I also could never have afforded them…

Serve the fettuccine at once.


Pass the extra grated cheese in a separate bowl.

If the fettuccine dries up a little before serving, add a little more cream, cover the bowl, and let the pasta sit.

Some day it would be fun to add some lovely slices of white truffle to this pasta, but it’s certainly rich and satisfying as is.

note: I typically buy a 4-5 pound chunk of Parmesan Reggiano at Whole Foods and store it for when I need to freshly grate some. For some odd reason, this really irks them, and I have no idea why. But how people can be happy with little 3 ounces plastic-wrapped chunks of Parmesan that are obviously cut along the rind is beyond me. So I break down my large chunk when I get home, store it in cheese bags, and grate as needed.

I love this gadget that I got at Amazon, of course, and it’s easier on the hands than a traditional grater. It’s a manual rotary cheese grater with 3 different graters. Just FYI.

By Published On: December 13th, 201939 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

39 Comments

  1. Tabula Rasa December 13, 2019 at 6:33 AM - Reply

    Looks lovely!

    • chef mimi December 13, 2019 at 11:22 AM - Reply

      Thank you. Pasta is lovely.

  2. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen December 13, 2019 at 7:31 AM - Reply

    What is more perfect than that simple bowl of noodles?

    • chef mimi December 13, 2019 at 9:24 AM - Reply

      Exactly!

  3. Freda @ Aromatic essence December 13, 2019 at 12:57 PM - Reply

    Looks delish, seriously what’s not to love :)

    • chef mimi December 14, 2019 at 11:05 AM - Reply

      Definitely!

  4. Tandy | Lavender and Lime December 13, 2019 at 10:35 PM - Reply

    The truffles add a bit of umami which I love. Sometimes I just add a few drops of truffle oil. That grater looks magic.

    • chef mimi December 14, 2019 at 11:05 AM - Reply

      Truffle anything is the best!!!

  5. Ron December 15, 2019 at 2:02 AM - Reply

    One of my favorite pasta dishes to make and eat and one I prefer not to order in a restaurant. I’ve not tried Fettuccine al Burro or Alfredo with truffles. I’m not a fan of truffle oil, but would give shaved black truffle a try. A real tummy warming dish and one you prepared well.

    • chef mimi December 15, 2019 at 9:26 AM - Reply

      Restaurants can certainly ruin “Alfredo” sauces. Maybe they make them more for children than adults with discriminating taste.

  6. Frank Fariello December 15, 2019 at 9:09 AM - Reply

    My kind of dish, Mimi! Simple, quick but delicious. But then again, you knew that… ;-)

    • chef mimi December 15, 2019 at 9:25 AM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! Well, if it took two days I’d make it!!!

  7. Roz December 15, 2019 at 7:15 PM - Reply

    Growing up in an all Italian-American family, we would always have a pasta in Bolognese sauce served right next to a big bowl of pasta in butter/cheese! I’m now at a point where I’ll pass on the red sauced pasta and dig right into what we call ‘white sauced’ pasta. It’s a comfort food that I turn to. And so easy! I enjoyed your photo instructions too, Mimi!
    Buon Natale,
    Roz

    • chef mimi December 16, 2019 at 9:01 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much Rob. I’m with you on the pasta choice as well…

  8. Kiki December 16, 2019 at 2:07 AM - Reply

    You had me at burro :-D . Who can resist the simplicity of this, especially when it includes butter!

    • chef mimi December 16, 2019 at 9:01 AM - Reply

      Well isn’t that the truth?!!

  9. neil@neilshealthymeals.com December 16, 2019 at 5:48 AM - Reply

    Lovely! I’ve never actually cooked with truffle myself. Must try it someday. You can’t beat lovely original Italian cooking. I love my Elizabeth David “Italian Food” book.

    • chef mimi December 16, 2019 at 9:36 PM - Reply

      I only learned about Elizabeth David after following blogs from the UK. She was never popular here, at least as far as I know. But I’ve only heard wonderful things about her cookbooks.

  10. cookingwithauntjuju.com December 16, 2019 at 9:36 AM - Reply

    This is a dish I could “die for” too – I might kick it up a bit with some shrimp and then I really would be in heaven. I have some truffle oil in my pantry (forgot what I bought it for) and never have cooked with truffles. Sounds like an ingredient I need to further investigate…

    • chef mimi December 16, 2019 at 5:01 PM - Reply

      I’ve never cooked with truffles either. I have truffle salt and truffle butter and truffle oil, though. But boy do I order them in restaurants. One restaurant in NYC (NoMad) came over to my daughter and I and introduced us to the truffle that was going to be used on our pasta that night!

  11. Sunnycovechef December 17, 2019 at 6:17 PM - Reply

    I don’t know if you have Costco where you live but they have large pieces of Parmesan cheese . You’re right, your pastor is to die for.

    • chef mimi December 17, 2019 at 6:19 PM - Reply

      No. ☹️ But if I want to drive, I can get to one. I really really despise those 3 OUNCE pieces of Parmesan that stores sell. You’re getting better? In time for Christmas?!!!

  12. sallybr December 17, 2019 at 7:54 PM - Reply

    Such gorgeous pictures in this post, Mimi!!!! worthy of a cooking magazine!

    Let me wish you Happy HOlidays before time goes by quickly and I miss the boat! ;-)

    • chef mimi December 18, 2019 at 6:45 AM - Reply

      Aw, thank you. Happy Holidays as well. I need to catch up with you, spoilers or no spoilers! So exciting!!!

  13. the Painted Apron December 18, 2019 at 4:03 PM - Reply

    Simplicity at it’s very best, I’m drooling!
    Jenna

    • chef mimi December 18, 2019 at 4:48 PM - Reply

      Yes, a perfect example of Italian food!

  14. popsiclesociety December 18, 2019 at 6:43 PM - Reply

    Really to die for 😋😋😋

    • chef mimi December 21, 2019 at 7:51 AM - Reply

      Thanks. Butter, cheese, cream, pasta… what’s not to love!!! Merry Christmas!

  15. thatskinnychickcanbake December 21, 2019 at 7:35 AM - Reply

    Yum! This delicious pasta is perfect for this busy week ahead! Who has time to cook a fancy dinner with all the holiday prep??? Merry Christmas, Mimi!!!

    • chef mimi December 21, 2019 at 7:53 AM - Reply

      Holiday prep. Gah. And I don’t even have kids at home anymore! But I do love the cooking part. I can’t deny that. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  16. Linger December 27, 2019 at 12:41 PM - Reply

    I Totally Agree – What’s not to love about this recipe??!! How could you ever go wrong with butter, cream and cheese mixed with fettuccini. Mmmmmm! You’ve got my mouth watering for this dish now. Thanks for sharing!

    • chef mimi December 28, 2019 at 7:38 AM - Reply

      Exactly! A perfectly lovely combination of goodness!

  17. Tra Italia e Finlandia December 29, 2019 at 1:37 PM - Reply

    Something basic, for us Italians, but so good!

  18. FrugalHausfrau January 10, 2020 at 3:53 PM - Reply

    A dish that is sublime when done well! Thanks for this share, I didn’t know about beating the butter! And I love the hint about the Parmesan. I do hate having to buy the little triangles! Even worse, I hate it when I see ppl buy the pregrated stuff! I think I need cheese bags!!

    • chef mimi January 10, 2020 at 3:57 PM - Reply

      Yes, you need these bags! They make cheese last so long. I love this recipe. It’s so basic and simple, yet so lusciously wonderful!

      • FrugalHausfrau January 10, 2020 at 4:00 PM

        So do you like the cloth ones or the ones that look like they’re made from paper? I’m already checking them out online!!

      • chef mimi January 10, 2020 at 4:07 PM

        Mine are paper.

      • FrugalHausfrau January 11, 2020 at 8:28 AM

        TY!!! I’m excited. I’m such a nerd, lol!!

      • chef mimi January 11, 2020 at 8:39 AM

        Formaticum cheese storage bags, on amazon. They have paper to wrap cheese with also

Leave a Reply. I love 'em!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.