Eat Pray Love: Spaghetti all’amatriciana

Eat Pray Love: Spaghetti all'amatriciana

Alright, confession time, I have a bit of a girl crush on miss Julia Roberts! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie in which I was disappointed by her acting. She is simply brilliant! One of my favorite movies of her has to be ‘Eat Pray Love’, my god what a beautiful movie to look at and yet again a stellar performance by Julia (yes I allowed myself to be on first-name basis with her). My favorite part is obviously Italy, the food, the language, the scenery, it just makes me want to hop on the next flight out there. So last week, I watched it again along with my little notebook, and wrote down every single recipe I saw in the movie. And boy, did I see a lot of food! It was pretty hard to pick one to post first, but I decided to go with a pasta from the most iconic scene featured the Italian part of the movie: spaghetti all’amatriciana. Once you’ll see the clip that features this recipe (at the bottom of this page), you’ll know why I picked it! 

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love (2010) is based on the best-selling memoir of Elizabeth Gilbert, in which she tells the story of how she went on a trip around the world after divorcing her husband and having gone through a failed rebound relationship. She spent four months in Italy, eating and enjoying life (Eat). She spent then continued with a three-month stay in India, finding her spirituality (Pray). And last but not she least, she went to Bali, Indonesia, where she found inner peace and balance and above all things: love.

The movie got mixed – negative reviews, which I can understand on some level.. but seriously, unclench! Yes the movie is fairly long, filled with self-pity and it’s a typical romcom and maybe even a chick flick, but Julia is as radiant as ever, it’s a nice and relaxing movie to watch and like I said before it’s filled with nice landscapes and impressive shots.  It’s our right to indulge in movies like this! And believe me, after watching it,  you’ll want to go and stuff your face with Italian food and try out some yoga positions and mediation only to quit again after a few days. I know I did!

So, to help out with the ‘stuffing your face’ part, I’ve been working hard on recreating recipes from this movie, and the first one is spaghetti all’amatriciana. Amatriciana is a traditional Italian pasta sauce from a town called Amatrice. The original sauce is based on guanciale, cured pork cheek but as it’s not easy to find that in local supermarkets, a lot of recipes have replaced this by pancetta, which is what I’ve done as well.

You can buy the DVD on Amazon UK, Amazon US or Amazon DE
or the book on Amazon UK, Amazon US or Amazon DE

Spaghetti all'amatriciana

Dinner Italian
Serves: 2 people
Total Time: Medium


  • 1,5 red onions
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of chili pepper
  • 25g pecorino
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 20 leaves of basil
  • 100g pancetta
  • 200 - 250g spaghetti (can be gluten free)



Peel the tomatoes and chop them up in small pieces.


Chop up the cherry tomatoes as well and finely chop the onions and the basil. Note that you do not need to cut up the garlic. 


Start boiling some water and boil the spaghetti according to instructions.


The sauce itself is really easy to make, which makes it all the more fun to quickly make this before watching the movie. Simply heat up some olive oil on medium heat and fry the onion and pancetta.


After about 5 minutes you can add all the remaining ingredients, apart from the pecorino.


Crush the big tomatoes so that you won't have any big chunks left and let the sauce simmer for about 10-15 minutes.


Once the sauce is ready, throw away the garlic and add the sauce to the spaghetti.


Grate pecorino on top of your pasta and your dish is done. Enjoy the movie!

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