Alfredo Sauce: Bechamel or no?

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That’s not the point I’m making at all. Cooking is highly flexible, and as long as it works, it works.

That said, an Alfredo is made with just cream, parm, and butter. A very good pasta sauce can be made with a bechemel refined with cream and parm. And I do this frequently, especially for catering. But this isn’t an Alfredo, you can call it what you like, an Alfredo-type sauce, for instance, or “Grunsday sauce” even.

The point I’m making is, what you call it makes a huge difference. Here’s another example: Hollandaise. Everyone knows holly is made with yolks, reduction, and butter. HOW it’s made is a different story. Yet I have made “ hollandaise” from a package, adding milk, or something else to a powder. And for a lot of catering applications this works well, particularly for long holding periods. Now, I can’t honestly call this stuff “Hollandaise”, and I’m guessing neither would you.

Here’s another point: I once worked for a guy who insisted on calling bought-in pastries “house made”. Pastries were good quality, but they had a very distinctive look to them that could only come from a production bakery, and were easily identifiable as such. O.k., kinda harmless, even though you could call him a freakin eejit, and laugh in his face. Then there was the guy who would purposely sub pork for veal in his schnitzels that he sold at a premium price.”They’ll never know the difference”, he used to say. O.k., this guy is knowingly cheating, a pork schnitzel is not a veal schnitzel.

So, yeah, I take names pretty seriously, if you’re going to sell an Alfredo, it should be made with just cream, parm, and butter. No one says you can’t sell a pasta with creamy bechemel, ( and I have, many, many times), but you can’t call it “Alfredo”.

I understand where you are coming from and I'd like to try and separate the topic and the examples you gave. I agree, as I'm sure a lot of chefs do that calling something like a protein one thing when it is another or marketing your products as made one way when they are not is dishonest and in some areas violations of truth in menus laws. That being said the issue at hand is not that the OP is completely using substituted products to make an alfredo sauce. He was simply wondering why some recipes would call for a bechamel base, which in fact contains most of the essential ingredients of said alfredo in one form or another. Simply adding an ingredients like a seasoning or in the case you made, flour, it is not unreasonable to still be classified or labeled if you will as an alfredo sauce. Adding a thickener is not a fair comparison to passing off manufactured pastries as home made or substituting pork for veal. It's understandable that you have your standards when it comes to ingredients for a recipes but even those are so vaguely defined. Would you consider a sauce made with milk instead of cream an alfredo? What about grated parmesan versus shredded? Does the cheese have to be aged? Using one of these things over the other does not instantaneously make it not an alfredo.

Also the context matters. In a perfect world maybe everyone could make pasta alfredo from scratch with premium ingredients to order. But is settings where you may have to bulk prep something you are probably going to thicken it. Maybe there are some chefs out there that do this but I have never seen a chef make gallons of sauce by just reducing the cream. It would be both time consuming and unnecessarily costly. If that is how you do it in applications than I am happy that you are in a position to do such cooking but for a lot of restaurants that would be serving something like a pasta alfredo to begin with on a regular basis this may not be appropriate.

Again I don't claim to have all the answers but I would think that to say something can never be labeled something else because of a simple ingredient addition or subtraction is a little stubborn.
 
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I find Wikipedia actually to be quite helpful in this case:

"Fettuccine Alfredo (Italian pronunciation: [fettut'tʃiːne alˈfreːdo])[1] or fettuccine al burro[2] is a pasta dish made from fettuccine tossed with Parmesan cheese and butter.[3][4][5] As the cheese melts, it emulsifies the liquids to form a smooth and rich sauce coating the pasta.[3] In other words, it is a version of pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese (Italian: pasta al burro e parmigiano). Alfredo di Lelio gave it this name at his restaurants in Rome, in the early to mid 20th century, where the "ceremony" of preparing it tableside was an integral part of the dish.[3][6]

The dish became popularized and eventually spread to the United States. The recipe has evolved and its commercialized version is now ubiquitous with heavy cream and other ingredients. In the US, it is often garnished with chicken or other ingredients to make it into a main course. In Italy, fettuccine al burro is generally considered home cooking; fettuccine Alfredo is a very rich version.[6]"

So, it could be argued that neither cream nor bechamel-based sauces are in fact "true" Alfredo, since the original dish referred to pasta tossed with parm and butter. I think the popular, North American usage of "Alfredo" would just refer to a garlic cream sauce, so that would allow bechamel and etc etc.
 
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[QUOTE="Seoul Food, post: 590722, member: 92191

Again I don't claim to have all the answers but I would think that to say something can never be labeled something else because of a simple ingredient addition or subtraction is a little stubborn.[/QUOTE]


Let’s agree on this:

If you’re going to sell a portion of Fett. Alfredo for $15.00 and up, it should be a cream reduction. If you’re going to sell it from $4.99-$12.99, anything goes.

There’s a big difference—both in terms of ingredient cost, and terms of calories between reduced 33% cream, and roux thickened 2% milk.
 
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I have to disagree Foodpump - our Alfredo does not have cream in it, it is the traditional butter and parm only. It seems like adding cream belongs in the anything goes category.

I have to wonder why people do the more complicated versions when the original is so simple. Other than buffet type settings that is.
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
I have to disagree Foodpump - our Alfredo does not have cream in it, it is the traditional butter and parm only. It seems like adding cream belongs in the anything goes category.

I have to wonder why people do the more complicated versions when the original is so simple. Other than buffet type settings that is.


If you can afford it I say...why not, but as it has been stated before, price is the factor.
 
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[QUOTE="Seoul Food, post: 590722, member: 92191

Again I don't claim to have all the answers but I would think that to say something can never be labeled something else because of a simple ingredient addition or subtraction is a little stubborn.


Let’s agree on this:

If you’re going to sell a portion of Fett. Alfredo for $15.00 and up, it should be a cream reduction. If you’re going to sell it from $4.99-$12.99, anything goes.

There’s a big difference—both in terms of ingredient cost, and terms of calories between reduced 33% cream, and roux thickened 2% milk.[/QUOTE]

I understand the point you are trying to make with this comment but I have to point out that arbitrarily assigning labeling rules of dishes based on selling price and price of ingredients is along the same lines of the very thing you stated as being unacceptable in your previous examples. Dish prices are also dictated by location, food trends, etc. so it's not a realistic approach. A dish of pasta in a big city is never going to be close price wise to a small town local place but may contain the exact same ingredients.
 
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Joined Sep 17, 2018
I find Wikipedia actually to be quite helpful in this case:

"Fettuccine Alfredo (Italian pronunciation: [fettut'tʃiːne alˈfreːdo])[1] or fettuccine al burro[2] is a pasta dish made from fettuccine tossed with Parmesan cheese and butter.[3][4][5] As the cheese melts, it emulsifies the liquids to form a smooth and rich sauce coating the pasta.[3] In other words, it is a version of pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese (Italian: pasta al burro e parmigiano). Alfredo di Lelio gave it this name at his restaurants in Rome, in the early to mid 20th century, where the "ceremony" of preparing it tableside was an integral part of the dish.[3][6]

The dish became popularized and eventually spread to the United States. The recipe has evolved and its commercialized version is now ubiquitous with heavy cream and other ingredients. In the US, it is often garnished with chicken or other ingredients to make it into a main course. In Italy, fettuccine al burro is generally considered home cooking; fettuccine Alfredo is a very rich version.[6]"

So, it could be argued that neither cream nor bechamel-based sauces are in fact "true" Alfredo, since the original dish referred to pasta tossed with parm and butter. I think the popular, North American usage of "Alfredo" would just refer to a garlic cream sauce, so that would allow bechamel and etc etc.

This is basically what I was referring to way back in the earlier posts. Cream wasn't even in the original recipes so there are no real set guidelines for alterations since so many versions now exist.
 
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LOL ...

I like the point that somebody mentioned substituting pork for veal! ... You GO!!! Seoul Food!
 
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Joined May 6, 2010
Hi, I learned to make Alfredo sauce by sauteeing garlic in butter, then adding cream, and finally hitting it with parm, but I see recipes that are bechamel-based. I'm wondering about reasons for the different approaches, is the bechamel-based sauce a bit lighter perhaps? I've never had too much trouble with the butter+cream+parm method, but is the bechamel perhaps a bit easier to work with in that it provides the consistency?

Nothing good comes easy. Use heavy cream and butter then add the Parmesan cheese. Alfredo sauce does not have garlic. Although many people think so.
 
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It's kinda funny ... but when I looked up recipes for alfredo sauce ... the first nine(9) included garlic and the tenth(10) did not. It's funny that 9 out of 10 recipes called for garlic. Could you maybe please explain that?




Thank You.
 
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Just google it, or ask any chef. I’ve worked with several Italian, French & German chefs. Not to say anything is wrong with adding garlic, it’s not in the original recipe.
 
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I DID Google it. The first 9 recipes had garlic ... the 10th didn't. Since now YOU have NO real explanation I guess we can say that alfredo sauce is made with garlic. Unless of course YOU can come up with some "ORIGINAL" ... or "oranginal" as some people like to say ... recipe historic example to show us any different.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
 
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Your welcome to make it anyway you choose. I was simply saying that the original Alfredo recipe is made without garlic. It doesn’t matter to me how people make it, I just know how it was shown to me from Italian chefs from Italy.
 
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Iceman, I just Googled Alfredo sauce authentic, and the first sentences that appeared were this:

"Traditional Alfredo sauce is a simple white/cream sauce. It is made from butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese."

...to be fair, it did go on to read that this author did add garlic to this......
 
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This thread is a great example of why I stay away from labeling anything I do with the word alfredo in the description. I do a lot of things mentioned in this thread and variations of them, I just stay miles away from the word alfredo; not the ideas presented here.
 
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ChefLayne ... Did I not just say ... "OK ... never-mind." in my last post?






I read what you read.
 

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