“Hey, come over here kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys some day”
Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 epic crime drama The Godfather, which won three Oscars, five Golden Globes and one Grammy among other accolades, follows the lives of the Italian-american Corleone family in post second World War America. One of Don Corleone’s capos and oldest friends, Peter “Fat” Clemenza, shows the Don’s son Michael (Al Pacino) how to cook for a crowd while simultaneously teasing Michael about being a babbo around his girlfriend, Kay Adams (Diane Keaton). We’re following Fat Clemenza’s recipe down to the dry red wine and the addition of sliced sausages. The success of this sauce depends on the meat so don’t be a putz and make sure you get the finest, loveliest sausages you can get. Otherwise... forgedaboudit.
10 large good quality pork sausages (some supermarkets do Italian sausages — they’d be ideal) 1 tablespoon of olive oil 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes 1 tablespoon of tomato purée 100ml dry red wine 2 tablespoons of sugar 400g of spaghetti parmesan cheese, to serve
Start by squeezing the meat from eight of the sausages into a large bowl. Bring the meat together so it’s one solid lump. Use your hands to shape the meat into small balls. You should get around 10-12 meatballs. (If you’re cooking for vegans and vegetarians, you can use vegan and vegetarian friendly meatballs instead. Try Quorn or Fry’s and cook them according to the packet’s instructions. Make the accompanying sauce as below.)
Heat the olive oil over a medium to high heat in a large frying pan. Fry the meatballs with the two leftover whole sausages in the frying pan for 10-15 minutes, until they are well browned and cooked through.
Transfer the cooked meat to a plate with some kitchen towel to drain the excess fat. Slice the whole sausages into bite-sized chunks.
Remove most of the excess sausage fat from the frying pan, leaving behind about one tablespoon to cook your sauce in.
Fry the garlic for two minutes in the same frying pan. Add the tomato purée, stirring into the garlic. Now tip in the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Add the wine and the sugar and bring to a simmer, allowing to bubble away for 20 minutes. Add the meatballs and sliced sausages back to the sauce for the last 10 minutes.
Now you can cook your spaghetti. You’ll need a large saucepan of boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil and cook the spaghetti to the packet’s instructions. It usually takes around eight minutes.
Serve the spaghetti topped with the meatballs and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, with some crusty bread on the side. Delizioso!