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LIVING | 21.07.2016

Audrey at Home: A New Cookbook with Recipes by Miss Hepburn

We wouldn’t necessarily have casted the unforgettable Audrey Hepburn in the role of the flagship housewife. That was more of a thing for her fellow actress Doris Day. Or so we thought until now. As if! For the film icon with the fluttering Bambi eyes demonstrated good taste not only in terms of style. The dishes too that she conjured up for herself, her family and guests, had star appeal. How did the movie icon do between pots and pans and what landed on the table in the end? Her son Luca Dotti reveals this and more in a new book entitled Audrey at Home (German edition published by Dumont), which contains lots of his world famous mummy’s favourite dishes.

We also learn that Audrey Hepburn at times used some unusual methods in order to enjoy delicious pasta. Good olive oil and parmesan cheese, for example, she simply smuggled in the plane with her on her way to her next (holiday) destination. To relax with only coconut water and fruit at hand in the Caribbean? For that she must have lacked culinary substance after all. Hence, the food stowaways on board.

In addition to 50 recipes Dotti also presents numerous photos from the family album –some previously unpublished – as well as many handwritten notes by Hepburn. The delicious mix of coffeetable book, biography and recipe collection is accompanied by the very personal perspective of a son, who knew the woman behind the screen icon like no other – from Audrey’s childhood in the Netherlands to her glamour life as one of the biggest stars of Hollywood to her time as a caring mother in Rome.

For each stage of her life there are matching dishes to try out. In Italy, the reader learns, the family meal sometimes consisted of penne with ketchup. Didn’t we always know that famous families are at heart just the same as us? With the exception of being world famous and quite a bit more wealthy, of course. Reassuring, isn’t it?

If we have made you hungry, how about a taste, in the literal sense of the word, of „Zuhause bei Audrey“ – with one of her pasta classics. Lights, camera, action – and enjoy your meal!

Spaghetti alla puttanecsa

(Serves 4)

  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 120ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for finishing
  • Handful black olives, coarsely chopped
  • Handful black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 12 salted capers, rinsed and left whole
  • garlic clove, cut in half
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, or splash of Tabasco to taste
  • 1 400g can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 450g spaghetti or linguine
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, shredded

In large sauté pan over high heat, cook anchovies with the oil, then add the olives, capers, garlic and red pepper flakes. Briefly sauté for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes, crushing them with a wooden spoon. Let the sauce cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it forms a dense purée, 5 to 10 minutes (depending on the quality of the tomatoes). Turn off heat, leaving sauce in pan.

In large pot, cook pasta in boiling, salted water. Drain pasta when it is al dente; add pasta to the pan with the sauce and toss, over high heat, to incorporate. Remove pan from heat, drizzle on a bit of olive oil and basil, and serve.

Buon appetito. And: Thanks, Audrey. For everything!

Photos: Luca Dotti by Jasmine Bertusi; Harper Collins (Cover)