Before Julia Roberts signed on to play the role of Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, it was a blockbuster book that landed Gilbert, who wrote the memoir, on Oprah's infamous couch (unlike Tom, she remained seated). Before that, it was a year of Gilbert's life ... one that she designed to make over her place in the world.
And boy, did she do that.
If you've read Eat, Pray, Love, you know that the first section of the book -- the Eat portion -- is set in Italy, where Gilbert started her journey. In it, she describes her prior life, and how she embraced the wonderful city of Rome and all of its food.
It's my favorite chapter of all.
On Gilbert's first night there, she has an epic dinner that starts with Spaghetti alla Carbonara with a side of sautéed spinach and garlic. She tastes fried zucchini blossoms filled with cheese and feasts on Tiramisu for dessert. There is warm bread dipped in olive oil, veal and red wine too ... Like I said, it's epic.
Perhaps the most mouthwatering and absolutely delicious passage though is when Gilbert talks about the pizza she eats in Naples. The crust, she says, is soft, thin and almost like Indian naan bread. The choice of toppings -- cheese or extra cheese -- is indeed a nice switch up from the bazillion choices available at American pizzerias.
One of my favorite lines is when Gilbert describes her time there as "no carb left behind." She feasts on pasta and pizza and gelato, until her pants no longer fit.
Can you see a movie just for 1/3 of it? I hope so, because that's what I am going to do with this one.
Now, the title of this post indicates that you might want to recreate the food of Eat, Pray, Love at home. Do you? I do! Here's how to do it:
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.