Spaghetti al Pomodoro from Audrey at Home

Today we’re sharing a recipe for Spaghetti al Pomodoro from Audrey at Home, a new unique biography about Audrey Hepburn compiled by her son Luca Dotti. Audrey at Home combines recollections, anecdotes, excerpts from Audrey’s personal correspondence, drawings, and recipes for her favorite dishes written in her own hand, and more than 250 previously unpublished personal family photographs.

Audrey at Home offers fans an unprecedented look at the legendary star, bringing together the varied aspects of her life through the food she loved—from her childhood in Holland during World War II, to her time in Hollywood as an actress and in Rome as a wife and mother, to her final years as a philanthropist traveling the world for UNICEF. Purchase your copy of Audrey at Home from your favorite retailer.

Audrey at HomeSpaghetti al Pomodoro
Serves 4

3 pounds (1.5 kg) vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and coarsely diced
1 onion, peeled and left whole
1 stalk celery, cleaned and left whole
1 carrot, cleaned and left whole
6 basil leaves, chopped, plus whole leaves for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch sugar
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (500 g) spaghetti
Parmigiano-Reggiano

Start by cooking the tomatoes in a large pan with lid over a high heat, with the onion, the celery, and the carrot for about 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.

Remove the lid and keep the boil for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Lower the heat to medium-low, and add the basil leaves and a drizzle of oil. The tomato sauce is ready when, as they say in Naples, “pipiotta,” in other words when the bubbles are no longer made of water but rather small craters of sauce. Remove from the stove, remove the largest vegetable chunks, and allow the sauce to cool.

A stainless steel food mill—the hand-operated type—is necessary once the cooking is complete, in order to transform the tomato sauce and pieces of vegetables into a puree of the right consistency. It will also remove the bitter skins and tomato seeds.

Add a drizzle of olive oil and adjust bitterness with a pinch of sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

To cook the spaghetti al dente, fill a large pot with cold water and place over high heat. When the water comes to a boil add a handful of coarse salt and the pasta, without breaking it.

When done, remove the pasta pot from the stove (perhaps even a minute sooner than the cooking time suggested on the package). Drain in a colander and add the pasta to the sauce with a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Toss well and garnish with a few leaves
of basil.

VARIATION

Mum’s Amatriciana
Mum also loved pasta all’amatriciana. The classic version is prepared by cutting some guanciale (cheek lard) into small strips and browning in a small skillet until crisp. If guanciale is not available use pancetta or bacon. Add to the pureed sauce and simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Mum’s version was lighter; she used prosciutto crudo instead of guanciale, and once it was browned, she blotted the fat using paper towels.

audreyathome

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