Culture Street


Audrey Hepburn at home

On July 27, 2015

Through her son Luca Dotti, we take a look inside Audrey Hepburn’s private world. Dotti has carefully combined recollections, anecdotes, excerpts from her personal correspondence, drawings, and recipes for her favorite dishes written in her own hand, and more than 250 previously unpublished personal family photographs.

Audrey at Home offers fans an unprecedented look at the legendary star, bringing together the varied aspects of her life through the food she loved—from her childhood in Holland during World War II, to her time in Hollywood as an actress and in Rome as a wife and mother, to her final years as a philanthropist traveling the world for UNICEF.

Treat yourself to Penne alla Vodka, Audrey's favourite home-away-from-home dish in Hollywood.

Penne alla Vodka

1/3 onion or 1/2 scallion, peeled and finely chopped
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
5½ tablespoons (80 g) unsalted butter
1 cup (230 g) tomato puree
½ cup (120 ml) good-quality Russian vodka
½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
Coarse sea salt
1 pound (500 g) penne piccole lisce
1 ounce (30 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and the pepper flakes in the butter over medium heat.

Add the tomato puree, reduce the heat to low, and cook for a few minutes, then stir in the vodka.

Cook down for 15 minutes and add the cream. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a handful of coarse sea salt and add the pasta. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, drain in a colander, and add to the sauce. Turn the heat to high, and panfry for one minute, tossing to thoroughly coat the pasta with sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve.

You can make the recipe lighter by replacing the butter with olive oil and reducing the quantity of cream by half. You can also try these two typical variations, which will make the sauce even richer.

Variation I
Finely chop 1 thick slice of pancetta, and brown it in the butter with the onion and red pepper flakes. Continue with the rest of the Penne alla Vodka recipe.

Variation II
Quickly sauté thin smoked salmon slices with butter, chopped onion, and ½ cup of vodka.
Let the alcohol evaporate and add the cream.

Recipe from Audrey at Home by Luca Dotti. Published by Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; © 2015 by Luca Dotti.

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