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What Is Fettuccine?
Fettuccine, which translates to “little ribbons” in Italian, is a flat pasta with roots in Roman and Tuscan cuisine, a touch narrower but similar in principle to tagliatelle. Once you go fresh with fettuccine, it’s hard to go back to the dried variety found in grocery stores, but both work equally well in any recipe you’re using.
How to Make Homemade Pasta From Scratch
Homemade pasta can be made entirely by hand—mixing and kneading the dough for up to 15 minutes to develop the gluten and achieve a smooth, springy surface. Then roll out the dough with a long rolling pin or pasta roller (a mattarello, just like the nonnas do it), or a tabletop pasta maker with a hand crank adjusted to the widest setting.
If you aren't looking for an arm workout though, use the help of a Kitchenaid stand-mixer and its different attachments, from the dough hook to the pasta cutter, for stellar, low-effort pasta (that is, as low effort as fresh pasta can be).
One Key Tip For Cooking Pasta
For perfect pasta, follow this rule: don’t drain your pasta. Just before it hits your preferred texture, use tongs to transfer it directly to your warmed sauce on the stove. The pasta water is packed with flavor and starch, and ½ cup of it will work wonders on even store-bought sauce. As the pasta finishes cooking, it will help soak up the sauce directly into the noodle itself.
The Best Sauces to Serve With Fettuccine Pasta
General pasta wisdom advises that long ribbon pastas go best with a thick sauce, traditionally a meat ragu, but also alfredo sauce—that eponymous creation of Alfredo di Lelio in the early 20th century, which began as fresh pasta tossed with Parmesan cheese and butter. The silky, simple coating for the noodles has since evolved to include heavy cream.
Easy Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce Recipe, or Fettuccine al Burro
Homemade alfredo sauce may be the easiest pasta sauce to whip up in a moment's notice. All it takes is a stick of butter, Parmesan cheese, and some salt and black pepper. Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over low heat. Transfer the cooked pasta directly to the butter from the pasta water with tongs. Toss the pasta to coat, then sprinkle in a cup of freshly grated Parmesan a little at a time, continually stirring to incorporate and melt the cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg, if desired.
Thomas Keller’s Fettuccine Pasta Recipe
- 500 grams Tipo 00 flour
- 250 grams egg yolks (ideally from Jidori hens)
- 1 whole egg
- 15–30 grams milk
- 25 grams extra-virgin olive oil
- Large cutting board or pasta board
- Bench scraper
- Sealable plastic storage bag
- Chef’s knife
- Parchment-lined baking sheet, semolina-dusted
- Make Chef Thomas Keller’s spaghetti pasta dough. Put dough into a sealable plastic storage bag and refrigerate at least 4–5 hours so that the gluten has time to relax before rolling out the pasta. The dough can also be made a day ahead.
- To make fettuccine, roll the pasta dough into 1 millimeter-thick sheets (it should be translucent when held to a light). Cut your pasta sheet to the desired length of noodles.
- Hang the sheets on the pasta rack and allow it to dry just until the surface forms a light skin and is no longer tacky.
- Place the pasta sheet on a lightly floured surface and very lightly dust the sheet of pasta with flour. Roll out the pasta sheet, press down lightly to flatten, and slice into ribbons of the desired width, approximately ¼ inch for fettuccine.