Always adventurous, Oprah switches up her celebratory meal from year to year (she is an Aquarius, after all, a sign known for its originality and independence). But here’s one thing she remains consistent about: She allows for a little indulgence. “I don’t do it often,” she writes in her cookbook Food, Health and Happiness, “and I never do it mindlessly; the goal is to make my indulgences intentional. I am for deliberate. I plan for decadence.” And on her birthday, her special menu has included such delectable carbs as creamy pasta and homemade truffle fries—and of course, there’s cake.
Oprah’s 2017 birthday celebration—shared by Gayle on Instagram—kept to the script, with the main course starring Pasta Cacio e Pepe, which Oprah included in Food, Health and Happiness.
It’s one of the simplest pasta dishes you can make, a meal that’s far tastier than the sum of its parts. You vigorously toss hot, just-out-of-the pot spaghetti with some pasta cooking water and grated Pecorino Romano until a thick sauce forms. Then, you top the silky noodles with some form of truffles (whether freshly shaved, or in a zest or salt format), a little salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Oprah first tasted this cheesy, salty, wonderfully sharp-tasting dish at a castle in Umbria, a region of Italy she visited in 2014, where she checked “go truffle hunting” off her bucket list.
As for dessert, we’ve seen O ring in her new year with a range of cakes, from tiered numbers to more simple affairs.
Coconut is a popular cake theme as is a glorious display of candles. Because what’s a birthday without a wish?