People: Oct. 12, 1970

Surrounded by Italian news hens in Rome last week, Pat Nixon almost got her pasta caught in some really hot water. Italian food was her favorite, she said, and she made good spaghetti. "How long do you cook it?" asked a reporter. "A long time," said the First Lady. Noting the black looks at the thought of a White House full of pasty pasta, Pat made a remarkable recovery. "I cook my meat sauce a long time—I simmer it," she explained. "But the spaghetti: eight minutes." Smiles. Al dente!

One of the boutiques in...