Fettuccine all'Alfredo, the true story behind a cult dish
This is the lovely story about Alfredo di Lelio creator of the “Fettuccine Alfredo” born as a reconstituent for his wife after the birth of their first child
by Ines di Lelio from the Ristorante “Il vero Alfredo” – “”Alfredo di Roma”
With pleasure I would like to tell you about my grandfather Alfredo Di Lelio, born in September 1883 in Rome in Vicolo di Santa Maria in Trastevere. He began working as a young man in a small trattoria belonging to his mother Angelina in Piazza Rosa, where there was a small square, that disappeared around 1910, and existed before the construction of the Galleria Colonna now Galleria Sordi.
1908 was an incredible year for Alfredo Di Lelio: his son Armando was born and at the same time his fettuccine were born in the trattoria in Piazza Rosa, these then became famous all over the world. This trattoria was “the birthplace of fettuccine all’Alfredo”.
Alfredo Di Lelio invented his “fettuccine” as a natural reconstituent made with butter and Parmigiano, for his wife (my grandmother) Ines, prostrated after given birth to her first child (my father Armando) The dish “fettuccine” was a family success before being the dish that made famous and popular Alfredo Di Lelio, a character with a moustache like Umberto I di Savoia and calluses on his hands because of making his “fettuccine” in front of his numerous clients.
In 1914, after the closure of the above trattoria because Piazza Rosa disappeared because of the construction of Galleria Colonna, Alfredo Di Lelio decided to move to a place in the centre of Rome where he opened his first restaurant that he ran until l 1943, when he passed it over to others not related to his family.
But Alfredo Di Lelio’s absence from the gastronomic scene was short lived. In fact in 1950 he was once again in charge of his family tradition and opened together with his son Armando the restaurant called “Il Vero Alfredo”, known abroad also as “Alfredo di Roma”.
With the new activity Alfredo Di Lelio was very successful during the “dolce vita”.
Success evident thanks to the continuous flux of tourists from all over the world to taste the famous “fettuccine all’Alfredo” with double butter served by me, with the challenge to continue the family tradition sent on to me by my teachers granddad Alfredo and my father Armando and my broche Alfredo. A peculiarity, the fettuccine are served to guests with a “gold” fork and spoon given in 1927 to Alfredo by two famous American actors to thank him for his hospitality.
I wish to point out that the other “Alfredo” restaurants in Rome do not belong to my family tradition.
The Ristorante “Il Vero Alfredo” is present in the Albo dei “Negozi Storici di Eccellenza – Attività Storiche di Eccellenza section in the Comune di Roma Capitale.