Sophia had quite a controversial private life. She and Carlo Ponti lived together as it was impossible to divorce in Italy in the 1950’s. The Catholic church denounced a Mexican divorce that Ponti obtained and the subsequent marriage of Sophia and Ponti.
They became exiles in Paris, obtained French citizenship and were married there. In Italy Carlo Ponti was accused of bigamy. Surprisingly all this happened in the “reign” of Pope John 23rd, who was seen as a liberal Pope. When Pope John, then Mgr Roncalli, was Papal Nuncio in Paris after the liberation,it was said “the food and wine at his little lunches was always good”.
Just as I started this blog, I came acroos a review of Sophia’s Cookbook, which was written as a kind of autobiography. Sophia was the first “Domestic Goddess”
The book is called “Eat with me”
In it she has many recipes for Pasta, with wonderful stories as well as sauces.
Here is a very simple Pasta dish made by my friend Adriano, in West Cork 10 days ago.
For 4 people
Two eggs, 400grams of 00 durrum flour, a shot of olive oil, pinch salt.
Mix in a bowl, if too dry add a tiny bit of water. Leave to rest in the fridge wrapped in cling film for 20 to 30 mins.
Using a hand cranking Pasta machine roll the dough through up to 7 times to obtain right thickness, you shouldn’t need flour if the consistency is correct.
Cut the pasta into rough strips and leave to dry while water is boiling.
For the sauce, roughly chop a good handful of washed spinach leaves. (Adriano grows his own vegetables. hard to beat).
Add to hot pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté until soft, add a large tablespoon of mascarpone, salt and pepper.
Cook pasta for 2/3 minutes, taste for al dente texture. Drain add a shot of oli, then plate up with the spinach mix on top, with lots of freshly grated parmesan.
In an early film of hers, directed by Vittoria de Sica, she plays the young wife of a street vendor, making Pizza. No toppings you’ll notice.
Here is a pizza I made with a very simple topping of sliced potatoes, fresh rosemary and shavings of Parmesan. Here it is ready to go in the oven.
Here it is ready to eat. As I made it on March 17th with spuds, maybe it’s a Patrick’s Day Pizza?????
And to see her dancing and singing “Americano” is just a treat.
Here is a list of a few of her best films .
Marriage Italian Style.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.
A Special Day.
And to rekindle the magic between them, Robert Altman’s Prêt a Porter, With Marcello Mastrianno.
Quote about Pope John, from Antony Beevor’s book, ” Paris after the Liberation”.