pasta: spaghetti al limone
We know her as Sophia Loren. But, she was born in 1934 as Sofia Villani Scicolone in Rome, Italy. Her desire, beauty and talent elevated from a child of poverty to an international film legend in her own time. Her quote “Many people think they want things, but they don’t really have the strength, the discipline. They are weak. I believe that you get what you want if you want it badly enough.” Gives a glimpse into what propelled Sophia Loren into the eyes of the world. She has appeared in no less than 94 films. She has graced the covers and pages of many magazines and books and she is an author.
She shares her love of cooking in her cookbook Sophia Loren’s Recipes and Memories. Not only does the book provide delicious recipes, both elegant and easy to prepare, Sophia Loren shares her memories. The Introduction is fairly unusual for you would not expect it in this cookbook, Sophia Loren’s cookbook. She discusses life as a child during World War II and the hunger she experienced. “The best condiment for any food is hunger.” This quote is a clear indication that the recipes in this book not only nurture the body, but the soul as well.
My mother gave me Sophia Loren’s cookbook. I spent the first few days reading it, looking at the photos. I was mesmerized by the scope of her life. However, when reading the recipes I noticed that they are very down to earth and many were either the same or a variation of many that were made by my Nonna. (I grew up second generation Italian- American.) A few recipes from Loren’s book are new additions to our family “cookbook”. One of them is so easy to prepare and sophisticated in presentation that it is not only the perfect meal for entertaining in a pinch, but can satisfy quite a few hungry men on a hot summer night.
Spaghetti Al Limone
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, sliced or roughly diced
Zest of 2-3 lemons
½ cup heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ pounds spaghetti
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese or Romano
1. Cook the pasta until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden then add the lemon zest and ¼ cup cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. When the pasta is finished cooking drain it and add to the saucepan along with the remaining cream. Toss well; remove from heat and serve, adding the Parmigiano or Romano to taste.
NOTE: I tend to add more butter (2-3 tablespoons) and I will use the juice from 1-2 lemons to create a little more sauce. The spaghetti tends to absorb any liquid quickly.