Red Sauce How Italian Food Became American

How Pennsylvania Dutch Noodles Americanized Fettuccine Alfredo

By on Thursday, November 18th, 2021 at 8:17 am | 28 views

Pennsylvania Dutch Noodles Alfredo from a ad for the pasta that featured the recipe

The original Fettuccine Alfredo was a simple recipe made from butter and cheese. By the 1960s, the Pennsylvania Dutch Noodle company had reinvented the dish for American cooks.

The basic, original Alfredo sauce is a simple combination of hot butter and cheese. The fresh pasta contains extra egg so that they are almost golden colored. Making fresh pasta is labor intensive, and mixing the butter and cheese requires some mastering of the technique to get the correct consistency and texture — the creaminess of Alfredo.

By post-war Americans were prioritizing convenience and simplicity. Time savings was an important part of marketing products and many home cooks were unskilled in the culinary arts.

The Pennsylvania Dutch Noodle company started offering recipes to encourage sales and show how the products could be used. Some suggestions included lasagna and chicken dumpling pie, as well as a fettuccine Alfredo.

The recipe on the ad included the addition of Swiss cheese and cream. The extra ingredients meant it was easier to achieve a creamy sauce, although at the expense of a less delicate flavor.

The recipe is adapted from the advertisement for Pennsylvania Dutch Noodles in 1966.


8 oz egg fettuccine, Pennsylvania Dutch brand
½ cup butter
½ cup cream
½ cup Parmesan
¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese


Cook pasta.
Melt butter.
Add cream.
Heat cream through.
Combine with pasta.
Toss with cheese, salt, and pepper.