NYSDM: That's Italian!
by Dave

La Dolce Vita Movie Poster
This is the Italian version of our Not Your Standard Dinner and a Movie date idea. As with all of these movie dates, the plan is to take a cultural theme and dive into it. In other words, you don't invite someone over for burgers and Transformers, you invite them over for homemade spaghetti and meatballs, and La Dolce Vita! And you don't just make spaghetti, you drink chianti and listen to Italian music while you do!

The Meal
What’s more Italian than cooking a spaghetti and meatballs dinner together? You don’t have to go so far as to make your own pasta, but you should be able to easily make the meatballs, sauce, and garlic bread together.

Before preparing the meal, set the mood with some Italian music. Pavarotti and Bocelli are good choices and can probably be found at your local library. If your computer provides decent sound, access these artists for free through grooveshark or pandora. With grooveshark you’ll have to add a song at a time to your playlist while Pandora lets you create a station based on Luciano Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli and will stream similar music. Open a bottle of chianti and pour a few glasses…ok, now you’re ready to begin cooking!

Here are a few straight-forward recipes that should take an hour or less to prepare:

The Movie

  • La Dolce Vita (1960)
    Marcello is a young playboy journalist who spends his days between celebrities and rich people, seeking fulfillment in parties and sex. When a famous film star comes to Rome, he does everything he can to meet her, and ultimately falls in love.
  • Bicycle Thieves (1948)
    This is a classic movie about a poor, unemployed father that lands a job putting up posters around town. The only requirement is that he needs a bicycle to do it and unfortunately his bicycle is soon stolen, leaving him and his young son to search for it.
  • Life is Beautiful (1997)
    This Oscar-winning film is a funny, yet tragic love story set in World War II Italy.
  • Il Postino (1994)
    The life of a fisherman named Mario changes dramatically when the famous Chilean writer Pablo Neruda settles on his little island. Living in exile because of his political beliefs, Neruda needs a postman to deliver the huge quantities of mail sent to him by his admirers and Mario gets the job. The two become friends with Neruda helping the shy and clumsy postman win the heart of Beatrice, a beautiful waitress at the village's inn, by showing him the beauty and power of poetry.


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Tips

For dessert, try a bowl of gelato.

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