Think that the fountain of youth doesn't exist? Sophia Loren doesn't agree. Celebrating her 79th birthday on September 20, the legendary actress once said, “There IS a Fountain of Youth. It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Also helping defeat the signs of aging: Sophia's disciplined diet.
“Be careful about what you eat,” Sophia cautioned in an interview with OK magazine. “I eat a lot of salad, a little meat, and some fruit—that’s all. But I like sweets.”
She also cautions about carbohydrates. "Too much bread is not good because you get fat [from the] starch,” she explains. “A lot of starch is no good."
As for fitness, Sophia loves to walk. "I walk, walk, walk, walk—yeah. That’s very good for your heart.”
Moderation is her mantra: “You have to take care of yourself. Eat not very much, relax a little bit, read, look at the sunset—you know, things that please you.”
But perhaps her most famous quote also reveals one of the key secrets to her serenity: "Everything you see I owe to spaghetti."
In honor of Sophia's birthday, we're sharing what reportedly is her favorite recipe for spaghetti, according to Taste Book.
Sophia's Favorite Spaghetti Ingredients
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 16 ounce canned, peeled tomatoes or 1 lb fresh tomatoes peeled and sieved.
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt, to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti, cooked
- Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. When hot, add garlic until blanched. Next, add the tomatoes, basil, sugar and salt, until blended. Lower heat and cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring every now and then.
2. For a spaghetti dinner for four, Sophia suggests using one pound of spaghetti, and that you prepare the pasta in a six-quart pot filled almost to the top with water. When the water boils briskly, add 2 tablespoons of salt, if you wish. Then put in the spaghetti, a little at a time, making sure the water does not stop boiling. “Never overcook pasta,” warns the actress. It should be served al dente -- which means that the teeth should feel the pasta -- it should not be a mush. Stir it now and then while it cooks so that it doesn’t stick to the pot. Before pouring out the water, taste a strand or two to be sure it is the way you want it. If it is, drain it into a colander.
3. Put cooked spaghetti in a large serving platter. Cover with the sauce, sprinkle with at least four heaping tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve. (Put a bowl of cheese on the table for those who want more.)
4. With the pasta, Sophia serves a fresh green salad (no tomatoes, but maybe add mushrooms or olives) with oil and vinegar dressing, Italian bread, and a red wine. Sophia also likes to serve fresh fruit for dessert and, of course, espresso coffee.