The All-Too-Relatable Meal Audrey Hepburn Ate Almost Every Day

It’s comfort food, but classy.



Actress and icon Audrey Hepburn was the epitome of elegance on the silver screen, famed for her signature style and Hollywood smile.

But, away from the cameras and glitz, Hepburn's meals were far from the luxurious breakfasts at Tiffany's you might imagine. Instead of nibbling on a croissant in long black gloves and a tiara, she was more often found at her own dining table, digging into a home-cooked plate of her favorite food: pasta.

<p>Rita Pellegrini</p>

Rita Pellegrini

Audrey Hepburn’s Favorite Food

Audrey Hepburn loved pasta, as confirmed by her son, Luca Dotti. “Mum had a serious pasta addiction,” he wrote. And frankly, we couldn’t relate more.

The actress ate pasta dishes almost daily, cooking with ingredients grown locally or in her own garden. “When friends would come over from school, they would say ‘My god, you eat pasta twice a day,’” Dotti told People. Rumor has it, she would even pack boxes of dried pasta in her suitcase on trips away.

Not only did Hepburn love dining on Italian food, she also loved dining the Italian way, taking time to savor the meal and the company. “When it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner, her feeling was, you should take your time for meals and stop what you are doing,” Dotti shared.

Likely, that’s because an abundance of food wasn’t a luxury Hepburn always enjoyed. Growing up in German-occupied Holland, she faced severe starvation in her early childhood—at times, eating tulip bulbs to stave off hunger. Even as she grew up and out of poverty, she never ate to excess or took food for granted, eventually dedicating her life’s work to UNICEF to help prevent hunger in children around the world.

Dotti collected all of his mother’s recipes in a “kitchen biography” called Audrey at Home, which featured dishes from pesto pasta to chocolate cake, even including the dinner she made for Dotti when “no one was around”: pasta with ketchup (a meal we can probably all admit to making once or twice before).

But, if there was one pasta dish Hepburn could live on alone, it was spaghetti with tomato sauce. Her homemade pasta al pomodoro recipe is easy enough to whip up on a weeknight, but flavorful enough to feel like a full-scale comfort meal. It’s classic and timeless, yet humble at its core, much like the starlet herself. Here’s how to make it.

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios
Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Audrey Hepburn’s Pasta al Pomodoro Recipe


  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 carrots, diced small

  • 2 stalks celery, diced small

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled Italian tomatoes

  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, stems removed

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 pound spaghetti pasta

  • salt to taste

  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and tomatoes, and drizzle in the olive oil. Chop half of the basil leaves and add them to the pot. Bring the sauce to a simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the tomatoes.

  2. As the sauce simmers, prepare a 4-quart pot of salted boiling water to cook the pasta.

  3. Take the remaining basil and use scissors to cut the leaves into small pieces. This will preserve the color and appearance of the herb.

  4. Once the diced vegetables are tender, turn off the heat and let the sauce rest for 15 minutes.

  5. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and rinse the pasta with lukewarm water. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste if desired.

  6. To serve, top a plate of pasta generously with sauce, then finish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the remaining cut basil leaves.

Adapted from PBS.

Read the original article on All Recipes.