The great Italian actress Sophia Loren is credited with saying “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti” although she later denied saying it. Either way, whatever she’s doing, it’s working. The photo above, taken when she was 72, prompted a Vatican aid to quip that if the Pope ever reversed the church’s ban on cloning, it would be because of her. Sophia Loren is 77 today.
The recipe below for Spaghetti con Salsa alla Sophia is from her cookbook Recipes & Memories. It’s a little light on the garlic so feel free to add more. Buon appetito!
Spaghetti con Salsa alla Sophia
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 c. loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 small onion, sliced (1 1/2 c.)
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
1/3 c. brine-cured green olives, pitted
2 t. drained bottled capers
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 c. plus 1 t. olive oil
1 lb. vermicelli (thin spaghetti) or linguine
With a food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add parsley, onion, anchovies, olives, capers, salt, and pepper, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add 1/2 cup oil, blending until incorporated.
Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well in a colander, then return to pot and toss with remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl, then pour sauce over top and toss well. Serve immediately.