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Monday, May 30, 2011

A Roman Holiday & a Recipe for Tramezzini

Guest Blogger: Karissa Martin
copyright Art of Living, PrimaMedia,inc
Princess Ann, played by Oscar-winner Audrey Hepburn in her first starring role, screams and becomes hysterical one night in Rome, the last stop on her European “Goodwill Tour” in Roman Holiday (1953). Weary from her princess duties and public appearances and stressed from her meticulously scheduled days, the princess can no longer handle the constant pressure. The doctor is called in, and his brilliant solution is to inject a new medication that will help her fall asleep. Feeling no side effects from the medication, Princess Ann sneaks out into the night in a delivery truck. When the excitement from escaping begins to wear off, the drowsiness from the medication sets in, and Princess Ann carelessly dozes on a bench.

After a night of poker, Joe Bradley, an American reporter played by Oscar-winner Gregory Peck, finds a girl snoozing on a bench on his way home. Not knowing what to do, he unsuccessfully attempts to wake her up, while she constantly mutters “so happy.” Unwilling to leave her asleep and alone at night, Bradley takes her to his apartment to keep her safe. Unaware of her identity, Bradley refuses to let Princess Ann sleep in his bed and proceeds to dump her onto the couch with a lift of the mattress.

The next day, Bradley sees the girl’s picture in a newspaper and realizes who is sleeping on his couch. He sees the potential for a story and contacts his editor. Princess Ann mutters in her sleep, unaware of where she is, “I dreamt and I dreamt. I was asleep in the street and a young man came. He was tall and strong, and he was so mean to me! It was wonderful...” After opening her eyes to find Bradley staring back at her, she realizes her dream was actually reality. A few explanations and a surprising run-in with the maid in the bathroom later, Princess Ann sets out to return home. However, she gets a little sidetracked and chops all her hair off instead and begins to explore the city. Bradley follows her and convinces her to take the day off, pretending that he is unaware of her identity. He asks her what she would do and she replies, “I'd do just whatever I liked all day long. I'd sit at a sidewalk cafe and look in shop windows. Walk in the rain, have fun and maybe some excitement.” Bradley does his best to make her wishes come true and calls his photographer friend, Irving Radovich, to help him get the story on the princess.

Unlike Princess Ann’s usual schedule, this day is full of surprises. After being taken to the police station for erratic driving, some late-night dancing, and an all-out brawl with the secret service (in which Princess Ann bashes someone with a guitar), Princess Ann knows it is time for her to return to the palace. It was “the end of the fairy tale.” Though she had to go back to her duties, Princess Ann would never be the same again.

"Life isn't always what one likes, is it?" But, you can pretend, if only for a little while. Try the elegant tramezzini sandwiches, and you’ll feel like royalty. With the gooey, fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and tasty basil, you may as well be sitting at an outdoor cafĂ© in Rome with Princess Ann. Take a break from your life and try this tasty little food with the movie.

(4 persons)


12 slices thinly sliced white bread (with crusts removed)
3 tblsps of extra virgin olive oil
½ lb of fresh mozzarella (sliced)
3 grape or cherry tomatoes (sliced)
½ cup of fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of freshly grated parsley to decorate plate


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off crusts of bread then cut slices in half, then slice in half again till each slice has been cut into 4 small triangles. Place slices of bread on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Use about one half of quantity of olive oil. Place in oven for about 4-5 minutes until golden brown.

*Prepare 16 mini tramezzini. Start with one small triangle of bread, then a slice of mozzarella, then top with tomato slice and then 1 basil leaf, top with a mini triangle and repeat with cheese, basil tomato and then top with one mini triangle. Place small shish kebab stick or cocktail stick through tramezzini to hold it together. Place all tramezzini on baking sheet. Drizzle rest of olive oil on top. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is beginning to melt. Garnish with a basil leaf on top and dust plate with grated parsley.

Get your copy of the gOurmand World Cookbook Award Winner The Basic Art of Italian Cooking:Holidays & Special Occasions

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