Pasta,  Recipes,  Soups

“This Is not What I Expected” movie Pasta

A gluten-free version of Pasta Alla Strega

I like Asian cinematography. I do not mean Hong Kong kung fu movies with bruce lee, but rather independent directors. But even mainstream production is sometimes worth mentioning. I recently saw a romantic comedy “This is not what I expected” <喜欢你>, loosely based on the book “Finally I Get You” written by Lan Bai Se. The plot is pretty simple: the rich man meets a poor girl and NO, they don’t fell in love but he fell in love with her cooking. Because the girl is actually a chef in a hotel restaurant…I would stop here, you can (if you are interested) read the synopsis e.g at Wikipedia here or watch the movie. By now it is available with English subs. But even if you would not understand a word it is worth watching because of its visual appeal. Some film critics even labelled the film as gastronomic porn XD

It should be noted that most of the recipes in the film is created only for the purpose of shooting. However, Pasta Alla Strega, a food that enchants a picky and arrogant man, was inspired by a real Italian recipe. Admittedly, with the original Italian recipe for spaghetti does not have much in common, it’s actually rather borsch like soup with pasta. (You can check my Armenian Borsch recipe here.) As stated in the movie, there is not an exact recipe for that food, so I invented my own variation; gluten-free and a little bit thicker. The result pleasantly surprised. It can not be said that it would be a gastronomic orgasm (as it looks like in the movie), but it is worth trying.

You will need

Different kinds of pasta. I have used black beans spaghetti, buckwheat noodles with green tea and gluten-free olive leafs pasta. In the movie are used ordinary spaghetti, black cuttlefish spaghetti, some leafs pasta and also shell pasta.

500 ml beef broth
1 big beetroot
one bigger tomato
two large red onions
1/4 smaller celery
1 fresh sprig of rosemary
1 fresh sprig of thyme
bay leave
2 cm of fresh ginger
pinch of dried red pepper powder
few balls of green or black pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon
200 ml of red wine
roughly grated parmesan for serving
sour cream (optional)

The Soup

In the larger pot heat the olive oil and cut the onions and leek put them into the pot and sauté briefly until translucent. Add dried red pepper, pepper balls and mix. Peel and cut the beetroot and celery, peel ginger, chop the lemongrass, dice the tomatoes and add them to the pot. Then add about three-quarters of a litre of beef broth, red wine, the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary, cover with a lid and simmer on a mild flame about an hour. Then finely strain the broth and add the lemon juice to taste. (If you want to have the soup thicker you can use e.g. corn or potato starch. I personally used a pea flour and a knob of butter. Be careful not to leave any lumps in a broth.) Leave the soup on the very mild flame to keep it hot.


Cook the pasta as instructed on the packages.


Pour hot soup on a plate, using fork and spoon create nests of spaghetti and arrange them together with other pasta on a plate with soup. Serve hot with a tablespoon of sour cream and grated parmesan on top.

Wine in this recipe

Red wine is an integral part of this recipe. Inspiration to experiment with wine in the cooking process can be found here. (For cooking, use wine that is as good as you would like to drink it with your greatest love. The quantity that does not fit in the recipe will surely fit in you 🙂

From the TCM point of view

This soup has similar properties to borsch which you can check here. Beetroot health benefits you can find here.

This post contains affiliate links from which I’ll receive small commissions but the price is the same for you. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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