Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Which came first: Pasta Alfredo or Al Pacino? The Manual investigates

Who was first on the scene? Al-Pac or pasta-Al?

A young Al Pacino
Eski fotoğraflar ve şehirler/Facebook

There may just be only two truly glorious, holy, and pure things left on this godforsaken earth, and we know and love them well. They both provide comfort and joy in our darkest hours. They both bring smiles to our faces and warmth to our souls. They are, respectfully, pasta Alfredo and Al Pacino.

Now, apart from the obvious similarities mentioned above, these two Italian gems have more in common than might initially meet the eye. Did you know, for example, that Pacino’s full first name is not, in fact, short for Alexander or Albert? Our favorite movie star’s first name is, yes, you guessed it, Alfredo. And it got us thinking — which came first? The gun or the cannoli – no, wait, that’s another article. The pasta dish or the Italian heartthrob?

It turns out that the two are not that far apart in age, either. According to Guisti d’Italia, everyone’s favorite creamy pasta dish was created in Rome in 1914 by chef Alfredo di Lelio and served at his restaurant, Alfredo’s. And while revenge may be best when served cold, di Lelio served his pasta creation piping hot, swimming in butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The dish’s popularity caught fire and soon became a staple in American cuisine.

Al Pacino in The Godfather.
Paramount Pictures

Just 26 years later, another delicious Alfredo was born in New York City on April 25, 1940. And 32 years after that, Pacino was starring in a film that made Hollywood’s head spin, along with the rest of the world’s. Obviously, The Godfather quickly rose to the status it still holds to this day of being one of the greatest films of all time, but it did something even more important. The film helped the country finally shift from the stereotypically harmful and racist views of Italian-Americans the country had at the time.

So whichever Alfredo you prefer, enjoy them for their steamy deliciousness. Their ability to satisfy any kind of hunger. And their perfectly rich Italian shape and flavor. Because there’s truly nothing heartbreaking about either of these ‘Fredos.

Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo recipe

(From Recipe Tin Eats)


  • 7 ounces chicken breast, cut in half horizontally
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces fettuccine
  • 2 cups milk, any fat percent
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup thickened/heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • Parsley, for garnish


  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.
  3. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken from the pot and rest for 5 minutes. Slice while the pasta is cooking.
  5. To the pot, add milk, chicken broth, and garlic. Bring to a simmer, then add pasta.
  6. Stir pasta occasionally until it is softened (around 3 minutes).
  7. Reduce heat to medium and stir every couple of minutes.
  8. Add cream and parmesan to the pot, stirring to combine.
  9. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the pasta is cooked.
  10. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, garnished with freshly grated parmesan and parsley.

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
Study: Which fast food restaurant gives you the worst bang for your buck?
Fast-casual restaurants: Where customers say they get the most value for their money
fast food and casual restarants with worst bang for buck burgers on grill

Whether we care to admit it or not, we all have our favorite fast-food restaurants. For all the bad rap they get, there's really just no comparing their convenience or ability to satisfy that insane, so-bad-it's-good, otherworldy craving for a greasy brown bagged burger and fries. Say what you will about the extra fat and calories, overly processed ingredients, and insane levels of sodium and cholesterol. At the end of the day, sometimes you've just got to give in and be bad.

And while we all have our favorites, from McDonald's to Jimmy John's, in a recent study, some fast-casual restaurants fared better than others when it came down to the best bang for your buck.

Read more
Colombian or Kona coffee: Which is the superior drink?
Colombian or Kona coffee: Sweet and spicy, or rich and chocolatey? Which do you prefer?
Ways to Make Coffee

If you're anything of a coffee connoisseur, you're well aware that coffee beans come from coffea plants, which is grown all around the world. Depending on your preference of flavor, boldness, and acidity, you may already have a preferred location from where your coffee originates. Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Honduras, and Vietnam all grow a delicious bean. And while all of these types and their rich, complex flavors are worth exploring, the two coffee varieties that people seem to be the most drawn to at the moment are Kona and Colombian.

While there are over 120 varieties of coffea plant, and each makes its own unique bean, coffee beans are usually broken down into four categories of flavor: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa.

Read more
A chef breaks down East Coast vs. West Coast oysters (plus, which is best)
Chef Michael Cressotti of Mermaid Oyster Bar breaks down the flavors and varieties of these delicious mollusks
Plate of oysters on ice.

A dozen oysters at Mermaid Oyster Bar. Melissa Hom

Fresh, flavored, and packed with umami, raw or cooked oysters are some of the best bites of seafood anywhere. However, for those of us who aren't seafood experts, deciphering the different types of oysters can be confusing. From the labels of East Coast, West Coast, Kumamoto, or Island Creek, there's a lot of information to break down for oysters.

Read more