You guys, I miss Italy. Not to be annoying about it or anything, but it was pretty great. Therefore, anything that allows me to reminisce on my time there is also, pretty great.
Also, Audrey Hepburn is pretty great. Who, in their right minds, does not like Audrey Hepburn? My mom makes a point to get everyone a book each year for Christmas (she should be, like, a librarian or something) and this year she got me Audrey at Home, a biography of sorts written by her son, Luca Dotti, that also includes recipes from Audrey's kitchen. What more could you want in a book?
I will admit that though I like to read, I do not read much. It is something I am trying to do more of to, ya know, expand my mind and such. This book about Audrey's life was more about her life at home with her family (hence, the title), and less about her life as a starlet. The unseen aspects of Audrey's life, if you will. It begins with, well, the beginning of Audrey's life! Her son explains the horrors she went through as a child growing up in Holland during the time of World War II, how she almost died of malnutrition, and how what she really wanted was to be a dancer. When dancing fell through she settled on acting and thus, a star was born in Audrey.
Her son speaks of not really understanding the level of stardom his mother had reached and how all Audrey really wanted was to be a housewife. She loved to cook and garden as well as host get togethers for her friends in her home in Rome.
A woman after my own heart (or perhaps I am a woman after her heart?), when she filmed Roman Holiday, she fell in love with the roman lifestyle and wanted to plant herself there, and did so for many years while raising her family. Her friends were not who you would think to be, she did not particularly always like the people she worked with due to their crazy hollywood lifestyles. No, Audrey was very humble and did not enjoy the party scene. She told her son that is the reason she never wrote an autobiography about her life because she did not want to be dishonest, but she also did not want to talk bad about the people she had worked with. What a sweetheart!
Each chapter includes a family story and a recipe that coincides with the story. Reading about this cultured family that often spoke a mixture of three languages in their home makes me feel like I should really step up my game, but lets be real. Even though Audrey enjoyed her time as a housewife, she still had a nanny and a cook for much of the time, just sayin'.
As far as the recipes go, I have not tried one specifically yet, but there are a lot of pasta dishes! One in particular that I have ogled about since returned from Italy myself is Gnocchi! I had never heard of it before I went to Italy, but it is now a fav of mine. It is a little noodle supposedly made out of potato, but to me it just tastes like a noodle. Turns out, it's not half bad for you either and it is super easy to make! I mean, the fake way, I have yet to try to actually make the noodles myself.
Here is what you will need, all available at walmart-
All you have to do is follow the instructions on the back of the package which are to simply put the desired amount into boiling water. The noodles float to the top when they are cooked thoroughly. I then drain them from the water and place them in a small baking dish and cover with the sauce. I add some mozzerella pearls to the top along with a little bit of italian seasoning and sea salt, bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the mozarella is melted and you are finished! The mozzarella pearls are optional, but man are they delish melted over the top!
One serving of this dish is only 220 calories! The Gnocchi noodles also have no fat and no sugar in them. Whaaaa?! (the calorie count does not count the mozzarella pearls, but who ever does?) What's great about this is I love this meal and I wasn't even really trying to be healthy, which makes it THAT much better!
To those of you that love Audrey Hepburn as much as I do, I would definitely recommend buying the book, make some Gnocchi, and finish your day off by watching Roman Holiday. Sounds like the perfect day to me!