Audrey Hepburn ate pasta, Every. Single. Day
And still maintained her svelte figure!
Despite this complete and utter unfairness, I continue to love her. In fact, she is among my top 5 favourite famous women of the 20th century!
My first encounter with Audrey was as a princess in Roman Holiday (I LOVE this movie) for which she earned an Oscar for best actress! My dedication (read: obsession) followed with Sabrina, Charade, and How to Steal a Million. I do not mean to be rebellious, but I am actually not fond of Breakfast at Tiffany.
She was phenomenal in War and Peace and My Fair Lady. But nothing beats her performance in Roman Holiday. All these movies are family-friendly- except Breakfast at Tiffany’s (and Charades is a bit scary, even for me!). I added the links to the DVDs on Amazon if you want to start your own Audrey collection (affiliate links)!
I have always admired her inner beauty, her grace, poise, generosity and elegance. I also adore how genuine and down to earth she was. This is a woman who loved carbs – how relatable is that! She withdrew from Hollywood to raise her boys away from the spotlights and later became a Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef. I can sing her praises for a few more paragraphs but I am eager to share her recipe with you!
A delicious recipe!
I happened about her recipe for Spaghetti al Pomodoro, which apparently she had for lunch every single day and decided to give it a try. Her son shared the recipe in the book that he published in her memory: Audrey At Home. The recipe has also been shared on the internet for a couple of years now.
I had jotted it down on my list of “recipes to be tried” (and yes, there is such a list, in fact, it just keeps on growing as the years go by and as I continue to purchase cookbooks – the struggle is real 😊 )and I have finally come around to making it for my family.
Audrey did not disappoint. I mean, has she ever?? This vegan recipe has now become part of our rotation.
Note: I always have a mixture of carrots/celery/onion in individual packages in my deep freezer. This is a trick I picked up from the book Under the Tuscan Sun, and I simply love it. It made making Spaghetti al Pomodoro a cinch because half of the ingredients were already prepared and just needed a quick thaw.
Basically, I chop up and saute one onion, one celery rib and one carrot in a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and then pack this mixture ( a sofrito) individually in Ziploc sandwich bags that I fill and flatten out and store in the freezer for when I want to quickly put together sauces, stews and soups.
You will be amazed how streamlined your cooking will become when you have these building blocks stashed away in your deep freezer when you don’t have the energy or the inclination to chop, dice and simmer on a week-night!
And now, without further ado, I present to you Audrey’s Spaghetti al Pomodoro and my pictures of the sauce simmering. The recipe was featured on the PBS website: https://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/audrey-hepburn-spaghetti-al-pomodoro/
P.S. I did not have any fresh basil on hand and let me reassure you that dried basil works just as well!
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced small
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 2 large cans (28 oz. each) peeled Italian Roma tomatoes
- 1 large bunch fresh basil, washed
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. spaghetti pasta
- Salt to taste
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a delicious addition after Lent!)
- In a large pot combine onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Take half of your basil and remove whole leaves from the stems (you should end up with about ½ cup of leaves). Add the basil leaves to the pot. Bring sauce to a simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking apart the larger tomatoes as they cook.
- While the sauce is simmering, fill another large pot with 4 quarts of water and slowly heat it up. Take the remaining basil and cut the leaves into small pieces using a pair of scissors—this will help prevent bruising and blackening of the leaves. Reserve.
- After 45 minutes, or when the diced vegetables are tender, turn off the heat. Let the sauce rest for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring the pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt, if desired. Cook your spaghetti pasta until al dente (retaining a little bit of snap to the core). Drain and rinse the pasta with lukewarm water to prevent sticking.
- Taste the sauce, add salt to taste if desired. Serve pasta topped generously with sauce, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the remaining freshly cut basil leaves.
The Audrey Hepburn Collection:
Other posts you might enjoy: Chef Boyardee
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