Alla Panna Sauce Vs. Alfredo Sauce

Alfredo sauce is an Italian creation.  

It is a creamy sauce that requires only a few ingredients to make.

Originally paired with fettucine pasta in the popular alfredo fettucine recipe, it is also common to find this sauce in other dishes in the US. 

The traditional recipe for alfredo is still very popular in Italy, however, the recipe for this sauce that has been popularized in the US is quite different from the original recipe. 

The same recipe for Alfredo popular in the US is more like another sauce in Italy known as alla panna sauce. 

Alla panna sauce is a rich sauce that is used over different foods including pasta, meats, and vegetables. 

This creamy sauce also has a smooth texture that clings to the foods that it is used with. 

So, what distinguishes alla panna sauce from the traditional alfredo sauce recipe? 

In this post we’ll discuss the difference between these two Italian sauces

Difference between alla panna and alfredo sauce

These two sauces are prepared in the same way and feature nearly the same basic ingredients with the exception of cream. 

While the original recipe for alfredo sauce is made using just butter and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, alla panna sauce is made with cream in addition to the ingredients used in alfredo sauce. 

Alla Panna is also somewhat thicker compared to alfredo sauce.

What is all panna sauce?

Alla Panna means “with cream”  

Dishes that are accompanied by this sauce often have “alla panna” in their names; this is a reference to a way of cooking pasta and vegetables with this creamy Sauce that clings to it. 

The sauce typically contains three major ingredients which are butter, cream, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 

A variety of other ingredients such as garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg parsley, basil, or cayenne pepper could be added to give the sauce more flavor 

Alla panna sauce is popular in Italy where it is paired with Tortellini pasta. It can be used with other varieties of pasta and even vegetables and meats.

How alla panna sauce is made

This sauce is easy to make. 

It starts with melting some butter in a saucepan. Garlic and shallots are added over medium until translucent. 

Some cream is added while whisking until it bubbles and thickens. 

The saucepan is taken off the heat as grated cheese is gently added to the sauce while whisking until the sauce is smooth. 

Alla panna sauce is very similar to the alfredo sauce that is popularized in the United States, however, this version of alfredo sauce is made with parmesan cheese  

What is alfredo sauce?

This sauce originated in Rome in the early 20th century 

A component of the famous Alfredo fettuccine. This Italian sauce can easily be found in restaurants.

Alfredo sauce is a rich and creamy sauce that often accompanies fettuccine pasta.

The main ingredients are salted butter and parmigiano Romano cheese. 

This dish could also be seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and parsley to elevates the flavor of the dish 

This sauce is also popular in the United States where it could be used on chicken in chicken alfredo 

In the US, cream is added to the sauce and Parmesan cheese is often used. 

The sauce could be made alongside the pasta dish. It could also be made separately and sold in grocery stores.

In conclusion

Alfredo sauce and alla panna sauce are both popular in Italy  

Authentic alfredo sauce is made with butter, parmigiano Romano cheese, and black pepper. 

The addition of cream to this sauce is popular in American style alfredo sauce,  

In Italy, the addition of cream to this alfredo base yields a different sauce altogether which is called alla panna sauce  

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