This famous cream sauce is named after its creator, Alfredo Di Lelio, who made it for his wife when she lost her appetite after the birth of their son. Alfredo’s dish was made of egg-rich fettuccine, butter, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and it became a hit in his restaurant (Alfredo’s) in Rome. In 1927, two Hollywood movie stars also fell in love with it and brought the recipe back to the States. The dish had to be adapted because the butter and Parmesan that were available here weren’t as rich as they were in Italy. So chefs added heavy cream. I’ve added my own twist with the addition of lemon juice and zest. Fresh pasta is a must, because dried pasta can’t stand up to all the rich ingredients.
In a Large, heavy skillet, stir 1 cup of the cream and the lemon juice to blend. Add the butter and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until the butter melts, about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and nutmeg. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 4 minutes. Drain. Add the pasta, the remaining ½ cup of cream, the Parmesan, and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper to the cream sauce in the skillet. Toss over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the pasta to wide, shallow serving bowls and serve immediately.