APPETIZER PART 2
Screen legend Paul Sorvino is best known for playing mobster Paulie Cicero, who preps a pasta dinner in prison in the film classic Goodfellas. I spoke with Sorvino, 78, and, given our shared Italian heritage (my family is Sicilian), I asked his advice for making tomato sauce. PAUL SORVINO: Sicily? Well, then, you make the ragù with meat, raisins, sugar, every f***ing thing you can find. [Laughs] That was all started by The Godfather – “The trick is, put a little sugar.” Well, we Neapolitans don’t do that. My suggestion is the simpler, the better. Marinara is very easy to make. It’s just tomatoes, olive oil – not extra virgin – and garlic. All you have to do is put some regular olive oil in a pan and then throw some onions in it and caramelize it a little bit, then throw a couple of cans of tomatoes or 10 or 12 Roma tomatoes – you blanch them and take off the skins – and throw in salt, pepper, basil and cook it for half an hour and you’re done. And a pinch of oregano. Then you have a most delicious tomato sauce. Or you can do it with garlic, or you can do it with the onions.
For the record, I’ve never had raisins in my tomato sauce. —MC