I love going to the cinema. One of my favorite things is the ritual of it. Buying the tickets, getting the popcorn, choosing the seat. The smells, the visuals of it all. I often wish people still dressed up to go to the movies, I think truly great films, such as this one, deserve that.

The little boy in Cinema Paradiso will steal your heart like he steals the film from the projectionist. He is sweet and funny and full of snark, just like a cute little boy should be. His love for the cinema is infectious and when his little eyes are looking up at the silver screen, he brings you into that moment. He goes by ‘Toto’ and it fits his persona completley. The very loveable projectionist, Alfredo, takes the boy under his wing and teaches him the trade despite the chaos that ensues. Their relationship takes place mainly within the confines of the local cinema in the town square of a small Italian town, which we later find out is an hour’s flight from Rome. We see him grow and how the cinema impacts his life and the lives of others in so many ways.

Not many films have the ability to make me laugh out loud and cry. This film has heart, passion, humor and drama. It made me long to go to the cinema and relish in it like little Toto does.

I enjoyed a delicious pasta dish when I watched this film and I suggest you do the same. A Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Parmasean Pasta served with a nice glass of Italian wine and you’ll be transported to Italy.

1/2 Pasta ( I used Buccatini)
2/3 cup grated Parmasean Cheese
4 oz Garlic & Herb Goat Cheese
2 Red Peppers
1 cup Half & Half or Whipping Cream
Smoked Paprika
Cayenne Pepper

Boil your pasta adding salt and olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place your red peppers in there for about twenty minutes with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Leave in until you see them get a bit roasted.

Meanwhile, in a seperate pan, add your cream and goat cheese. Let melt. Then add parmasean, saving some for later. Keep the pan on low heat. Add your smoked paprika, cayenne and basil. Once it is all blended, check on your peppers. Take them out of the oven and let cool. Cut off the top and take out the seeds. Place in the pan with the cream and cheese. Take an Immersion Blender and puree the peppers and sauce together to create your sauce. You can do this in a food processor too, I prefer mine a bit chunkier so if you do too, don’t blend too much.

Pour back into the pan and let simmer. Add spices to taste. Drain your pasta if ready and add the sauce to the pan with the pasta. Mix, making sure every piece of pasta is coated. Then add more parmasean and spices if desired. I like to add a bit more basil on top for color. Lastly, add a handful of arugula and mix in.

Serve hot & enjoy!