Christmas Pasta for Food ‘n Fix and The Holiday

Happy Holidays!

I’m hosting the December edition of Food ‘n Flix with The Holiday (2006), a film directed by Nancy Meyers and starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Jude Law.    Of course, Diaz, Winslet, and Law are gorgeous.  Black just adds enough scruffy “everyman” to help the tale be believable.  Please do note that this film is a totally fluff, rom-com movie.  Just what we all need right now!


Amanda (Diaz) is the quintessential Hollywood type living a fast-paced life in LA.  She’s a neurotic “non-crier” and overly whiny.  Definitely annoying.   I was still rooting for her by the end of the tale, though.  Right before the holidays, she kicks her boyfriend out of the house.

Iris (Winslet) is a wedding announcement writer living in a quaint cottage in England.  (The cottage is so quaint it should have been a holiday Currier and Ives’ print.) Right before the holidays, the man she is pining for announces his engagement.  She is crushed.

Both Amanda and Iris realize they need to get away, far away, and regroup.

Amanda finds Iris through a house exchange website and the two decide to swap locales for the holidays.

It’s a rom-com so Miles (Black), a movie composer in LA, and Graham (Law), Iris’s brother, become the love interests.  There’s another love interest for Iris, one of Amanda’s neighbors.  Arthur (Eli Wallach) is an elderly script writer that Iris befriends.  He definitely helps her get through the holidays (and vice-versa).

Besides these great actors, there’s great music in this film as well—great Christmas tunes plus other music like The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” and Jet’s “Are you Gonna Be My Girl.”  

Yes, everyone lives happily ever after in the film (or at least happily through New Year’s).   Sometimes you just need a little light fluff to get you through…

The Food:

The Holiday is not a food-centric film, but here’s what I noticed:

  • Pints at the pub
  • Champagne and eggnog at office party
  • Lemon trees and orange trees outside Amanda’s lovely LA home
  • Tea
  • Wine, chocolate balls, peanuts, olives, brie, bread, frosted Christmas cookies, Pasta, assorted other party food from Amanda’s binge-worthy shopping trip
  • Apples and oranges in bowl on kitchen table (in the cottage)
  • Brandy
  • Coffee
  • More pints and wine at the pub
  • Indistinct food (and a beer) at Iris and Arthur’s “date”
  • Amanda and Graham’s lunch (more indistinct food)
  • Manischewitz wine and more indistinct food from the “Hanukkah thing” (Brisket and chocolate covered macaroons are mentioned though.)
  • Bag of gourmet food and wine
  • Hot chocolate with baby marshmallows and plate of cookies
  • Orange for Arthur
  • Big dollop on  Frappuccinos
  • Tea for Iris and vodka for Miles
  • Christmas fettuccine
  • Popcorn
  • Japanese restaurant (ramen bowl, spicy tuna, saki)
  • White wine with Jasper
  • New Year’s Eve:  More champagne and hors d’oeuvres tray

I first thought I would make something a bit British for my dish.  After some research I landed on Pigs In A Blanket.  Now, this recipe is not like the American one of wieners wrapped in dough and baked.  The British recipe involves bacon wrapped smoked sausages.  Although this does sound decadent and delicious, it was a bit dangerous for my tastes.  So, I almost morphed that into stuffed dates wrapped in bacon (and I still might do that soon for a holiday hors d’oeuvre).

Instead, I fixated on the comment about Christmas Fettucine.  I had an old pasta recipe that I used to make often but haven’t made in YEARS.  I decide to adapt it a bit and remake it for The Holiday.


Christmas Pasta


This recipe is based on an old clipping for “Pasta Ya! Ya!” from an old Tulsa restaurant.

Merry and spice!


  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c. green onions, divided
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • 3/4 c. chicken stock
  • 1 boneless chicken breast (about 3-4 oz.), chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 oz. ground pork sausage, cooked, drained and rinsed with hot water
  • 1/2 lb. dry fettuccine, cooked al dente
  • 1 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2. T. Cajun spice or blackening seasoning (or to taste)
  • fresh rosemary (for garnish)


  1. In a heavy pan, sauté the garlic, 1/4 c. of the green onions, and the peppers for 1-2 minutes. Do not let the garlic get too brown.
  2. Add the chopped chicken and cook until the chicken begins to turn white. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the white wine and chicken stock. Turn heat to high and continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half.
  4. Add the cream and continue cooking on high until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened.
  5. When sauce is thickened, add the spice and sausage to the pan and stir to combine.  When sausage is warmed, remove pan from heat and add the cooked pasta and toss to combine.
  6. Portion pasta onto two plates and garnish with the remaining green onion. May garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Yield: 2 large servings

You’ll notice this is a serving for two to honor my latest endeavor:  “Recipes for Two.”   At dinner, we both remarked why it had been so long since I had made Pasta Ya! Ya! and also why I didn’t make enough for leftovers.  🙁

Finally, here’s some fun facts from The Holiday.   The list includes things like this was the first film that Winslet used her own speaking voice (without creating an accent) and that Meyers had to tell Wallach to slow down and act more like an old man (even though he was 90 at the time of filming).

Watch for the round-up here at the end of the month with all the other recipes from Food ‘n Flix participants.

Join us in January when Wendy is hosting Simply Irresistible.  

I’ve been whining a bit about the holidays and my lack of spirit.  Well, through my lack of patience, a misdelivered UPS package, and a kind neighbor, I ended up with two 9-foot Christmas trees this year.    You will be happy to know that both are up and decorated (and even lit)!   One is in the dining room and one is in the living room.   ‘Tis the season!!!!!

I truly hope your holiday will be merry and bright and happy.   Although family and friends are not physically a part of our festivities this year, everyone is in our thoughts and hearts (and on Zoom).

Here’s to December 2021 where our celebrations and joyfulness can be in person.

You do still have time to participate.  (Read the announcement post here.)  If you end up watching The Holiday over the Christmas weekend, then whip something up and join Food ‘n Flix.


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