Godfather sauce

I’m gonna make you a pasta sauce you can’t turn down!

I have been addicted to The Godfather’s pasta sauce ever since I first tried it at Pileggi’s Italian Café in Oakwood Square. In the past whenever I would visit Pileggi’s I would always have the eggplant parmesan. One evening a few months ago I noticed an entry on the menu labeled The Godfather. It sounded good so I thought I would try it and it was love at first bite. Served over a large plate of linguini, it was heaven Italian style!

Those of you who have been reading my posts for awhile may remember that I have been learning to cook. From Eating My Mistakes to Ken’s Famous Coney Sauce my culinary education has been an adventure.

After tasting The Godfather at Pileggi’s I thought I would try to recreate it. The first thing I did was to put “godfather sauce” into the Google search engine. Not to my surprise a myriad of hits came up. The recipe that seems to the most favorite one is a recipe that supposedly first appeared in Glamour magazine in 1973. The sauce is based on a scene in the movie The Godfather where Clemenza is making spaghetti sauce for a group of his fellow mobsters. The exact recipe didn’t appear in either the movie or the book so it is most likely and educated guess by the author of the article. I found the recipe that I decided to use and refine on the Food.com website.

One of the fun things about learning to cook is getting to the point where you feel confident enough to make changes to a recipe thereby making it your own. What follows is my version of The Godfather’s pasta sauce. Buon appetito!

I hope you enjoy this sauce as much as I do. If you don’t, I will send Vito and Rocco over to have a talk with you. Enjoy!

The Godfather’s Pasta Sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion chopped
2 – 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 – 6oz cans tomato paste
¼ cup sugar
4 links of DiRusso’s medium hot Italian sausage, cooked and sliced into ¾” pieces
1 lb mini meatballs, cooked ( I use Farm Rich)
A splash of red wine (Chianti works well)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil. (1 teaspoon if using dried basil)
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian oregano.

1. Heat the oil over medium heat for 1 minute in a Dutch oven or large pot.

2. Add the onions and cook while stirring constantly. After two minutes add the crushedgarlic and continue cooking being careful not to burn the garlic. Cook until the garlic becomes aromatic and the onions begin to become translucent.

3. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Increase the heat to medium high. Continue cooking while stirring until the ingredients are combined to a smooth consistency.

4. Add the sugar a little at a time to taste.

5. Add the sausage and meatballs. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for one hour stirring occasionally.

6. About 5-10 minutes before serving add the basil and oregano to taste.

7. Add a splash of red wine and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. If you are serving this to children or someone who does not tolerate alcohol either omit the wine or transfer a sufficient amount to another pot before adding the wine. One trick to burn off some of the alcohol is to plate the pasta and sauce and place it under the broiler for a minute or so. Some of the alcohol will still remain but this lessens the bite of the alcohol while leaving the wine taste in the sauce.

8. Serve over the pasta of your choice; mine is linguine.