Imagine having six children just to stay out of prison? That’s what Sophia Loren did in “Leri, oggi, domain” the 1963 Italian comedy. She is to be arrested for selling cigarettes on the street but Italian law states that if she is pregnant, she can’t go to prison. So she decides to keep having babies!

This is only one of the three short stories that take place in this film. Each with Sofia Loren as the protagonist. The second story, perhaps the weakest of the three, is of a wealthy woman in her Rolls Royce on the way to the countryside with her lover when an accident occurs. It shows the man he was absolutely right about Anna all along.

The third story takes place in my dream flat in Italy, you’ll see what I mean. Overlooking a piazza, a woman befriends a young man next door who is in seminary school. In between their conversation she gets a visit from a man who is deeply in love with her and the pieces of who she is and what she does, come together. Umberto, the budding priest, falls in lust with Mara and his very Catholic grandmother comes to harass her. Meanwhile, her beau is doing all he can to get her into the bedroom amidst the craziness of the neighbors next door.

This film isn’t typical as it is three short stories but each one comical and beautiful in it’s own way. They are simple and there isn’t much to them but true cinema can say so much in a short time. What I love most, is that in each one, Sofia plays a strong woman who knows what she wants and doesn’t apologize for it, no matter how difficult she makes the life of everyone else. Sofia Loren is a silver screen goddess and although this may not be her best film, it is a definite pleasure to watch as I for one, could not take my eyes off her for the duration of the film and I’m sure you’ll feel the same!

A strong woman needs a strong pasta so tonight we’re having Angel Hair pasta with red wine sauce and shaved Parmesan.

Angel Hair Pasta
2 cups Red Wine
1 Clove Garlic
1/2 Small Onion, finely chopped
3/4 Cup Water
3-4 Bay Leaves
2 cups Water
2 cups Vegetable Stock
Olive Oil

Begin by adding 2 cups of wine, 2 cups vegetable stock and a few drops of olive oil to a large pan and turn to medium heat.  Chop your garlic and onion and add it to the mix. When the wine begins to heat up, add the pasta and the water. Then add bay leaves, salt and pepper. Keep stirring. When the pasta is al dente, stir and reduce heat to low. Add a dash more water if you see the pasta soaking up the wine. There should be a bit left in the pan as a sauce but it shouldn’t be soaking in it at this point. Be sure to taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Remove the bay leaves and add basil. Stir.

Serve with fresh arugula and sprinkle with Parmesan. Voila! You have a decadent pasta dish and only one pan to clean! Pour any additional wine into a glass and enjoy!