A recipe you can´t refuse
You may or may not have noticed that I´m somewhat of a movie nut. It runs in the family. People who don´t watch movies a lot find it hard to follow a conversation at our table. The references are usually to stupid films, and if you haven´t seen them, then you won´t know why we whinny every time my father says he wants to have a dog called Blücher.
I usually take it one step further, and make life altering decisions based on movies. And they´re not even good movies, half the time, which makes it something I probably shouldn´t confess in public. I cut my hair to resemble Demi Moore´s after seeing Indecent proposal. I bought a Powerbook after seeing Forces of nature. I painted my kitchen red after seeing Amelie. Embarrassing, I know, but the haircut was nice.
It makes perfect sense, then, that the first recipe I tried out for company in my spanking new red kitchen, quite a few years ago, should be what is generally referred to as Godfather spaghetti sauce.
I´m sure you all remember the scene where Clemenza shows a nervy young Michael the ropes of cooking for a crowd. Coppola insisted on inserting it in the film. He said that if it sucked, at least people would have learnt something.The humility of true genius.
Hopefully you won´t be called upon to feed a tribe of assassins after your brother is murdered, but other than that, it´s a really useful recipe to have up your sleeve.
However, it requires time and love. When I don´t have time for that, I do a version that, while nowhere nearly as good as the original, is still pretty good.
I call it The Godfather part III sauce.
It´s very much like this one, but mine is even simpler, and can be done while the pasta cooks. Quantities are vague. This is not about precision.
Put a pan on the hob with some water, and the rest in the kettle, to speed things up. Chop a small onion very very finely. Sautee it in olive oil over a high fire. It won´t catch if you´re stirring vigorously, so it´s maybe best if somebody else does that, while you break two or three fresh butcher´s sausages from their casings, and crumble the meat with your hands. Ask that other helpful person to put the pasta in the pan while you brown your mince well. Add a jar of tomato sauce.
Up to this point, activity is furious, but now, with the pasta safely in the pan for at least 8 minutes, and the sauce almost done, you can realx, taste, and see. It´ll probably need a bit of sugar, maybe a shake of Tabasco.
While pasta cooks and the sauce splutters, you can have a beer, lay the table, take out the parmesan, the pepper grinder and relocate the microplane. Don´t even bother with the salad.
I´ve never seen a wiseguy tucking into his greens.