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Dinner, Pasta and Fellini

Posted in Caro Diario.(dear diary..), cucina, cucina povere, entertaining, La Dolce Vita, recipes, Rome, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Uncategorized, and wine

copyright 2010, Maria Liberati

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta” a saying of the late film director Federico Fellini..and it is so true…


Fellini was from Rimini in the north of Italy but a trip to the Eternal City when he was a young boy changed his life forever…he was enamored with  Rome..its’ people. its’ food, its’ flavors,its’ sights, the magic..and so the films of Federico Felllini were born.

I have walked  past and stopped at many of his old haunts in Rome  and wonder what it would have been like to have dinner with him and his delightful wife, actress Giuliana Massina…a Sunday  dinner know first a’ passeggiata’ on Via Margutta..known for their antiques stores and one of his favorite neighborhoods.

And then heading over to Sora Lella’s restaurant  for a typical Roman pasta dish -Pasta a la Matriciana  (a specialty of the restaurant)– accompanied by a glass of Montepulciano….entertained by the intense flavors of the pasta and the interesting stories of Fellini and his  wife Giuliana and the cinematic  memories of Sora Lella herself…..that would be truly magic and pasta. And the evening’s dinner would finish with a stroll .. under a serene  Roman evening sky….to  coffee bar Giolitti  for a sweet taste of gelato….and an espresso  at Caffe famous for its’ coffee as its’creative ‘literati’ customers.

I hope we could fit a quick tour of Cinecitta (the original studios in Rome where he filmed most of his movies) in before dinner..

An imaginary dinner… but here is the real Pasta a la Matriciana

La Matriciana

pasta la matriciana

(from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions winner of the Best Italian Cuisine Book in the USA)

for 4 people

*1 lb of pasta (spaghetti, bucatini,rigatoni)

  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ¼ pound bacon (optional), cut into thin strips
  • 3 tblsps of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of dry white wine with ½ tblsp of white wine vinegar
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh basil
  • ¼ of a dry, hot ,red pepper
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 2 lbs of ripe red plum tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of pecorino romano cheese freshly grated

Place olive oil in saute pan and warm, place in bacon and chopped onion, hot red pepper, garlic .Saute until onion begins to become golden. Pour in wine and let liquid evaporate. Then add in the tomatoes that have been fileted (seeds removed) and fresh basil leaves.

Saute on medium heat for approx 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Cook the pasta till al dente. Drain and place in sauce, toss and place in half of the grated cheese, toss. Serve each portion with a pinch of black pepper and more grated cheese.

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