My grandmother’s parents were born in the lush, green mountains of Southern Italy, in the vicinity of Naples. Olive trees and vineyards still inhabit the terrain much like I imagine they did in the 1800’s. I might never know the details, but I imagine my great grandparents came to America to escape poverty and to look for a better life just like millions of others. By some crazy twist of fate, I live in Northern California which is also covered with olive trees and vineyards, so I am constantly reminded of my ancestors’ home. Do you ever wonder about all the twists and turns over the many generations that landed you where you are right now?
It is certainly food for thought. I try not to live in the past, yet I can’t help but be intrigued and fascinated with the seemingly mysterious lives of my Italian ancestors. As a foodie and travel nut, my interests always seem to turn to what they were eating and where the food came from.
My grandmother had a homemade scrapbook of her favorite recipes. She had moved out to California as a young woman and began her lifelong career as a homemaker. Because she wanted to personify the perfect American housewife, she left her Italian side in Boston where she grew up. Most of the recipes in her collection were Betty Crocker type dishes like meatloaf and Jello salad.
Nana’s recipe book
But I have one cherished Italian recipe from her collection; Nana’s Fettuccine Alfredo. The weird part is that this dish is made with cream and butter, which are usually ingredients found in Northern Italian dishes and her family was from the South of Italy. Well, just like most family histories, many of the details are shrouded in mystery and unanswered questions. For now, here is Nana’s Fettuccine Alfredo recipe. It is classic, and, oh so rich and creamy. I decided to use whole wheat pasta for a healthier choice.
Nana's Fettuccine Alfredo
Classic Italian creamy pasta dish.
- 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat fettuccine (fresh or packaged)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Cook fettuccine according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain well; place in a large bowl.
- Combine butter and whipping cream in a small saucepan; cook over low heat until butter melts. Stir in cheese, pepper, and parsley.
- Pour mixture over hot fettuccine; toss gently until fettuccine is coated.
- Serve immediately. Serve with a buttery Chardonnay. Buon Appetito!