Fettuccine Alfredo is a dish native to Rome, yet many Italians may not even recognize the name. In Italy, the dish is typically called fettuccine al burro. The variation was created in Rome in 1914 when Alfredo di Lelio, owner of a Roman restaurant, tripled the original amount of butter in the sauce in order to invent something that his pregnant wife could stomach. Rumor has it that two Hollywood stars, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, stopped there on their honeymoon. They then returned to the United States and made the dish for their friends. This is where it really took off, becoming a favorite in American eateries.
This is not to say the dish does not exist in Italy. It is called pasta al burro in the South, meaning pasta with butter, and pasta bianco in the North of Italy, meaning pasta in white. The Italian versions are usually not made with cream and may contain considerably less butter.
Contributed by Kara Scannell.