It's been 50 years. Fifty Years since the release of Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, a movie considered one of the greatest movies of all-time. An undisputed masterpiece by Coppola. The movie taught us many lessons, about : family, loyalty, respect, and Sauce. To be more specific Sunday Sauce, aka Gravy. The scene has Sonny Corleone, the acting Boss of the Corleone Crime Family (after his father Vito was shot), with Corleone Capo Peter Clemenza, Michael Corleone (AL Pacino - Sonny's younger brother) and other Corleone Crime Family associates all sitting around a table, eating Chinese Take-Out Food and discussing their strategy against Virgil Sollozzo and other potential enemies.
As everyone sits around, Clemenza says to Michael, "Come over here kid. Learn Something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see? You start out with a little oil. The you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, some tomato paste. You fry it, you make sure it doesn't stick. You bring it to a boil. You shove in all your Sausage, your Meatballs. Huh? Add a little wine. And a little bit of sugar. And that's my trick."
Michael watches. Sonny comes over and tells Clemenza, "Why don't you cut the crap. I got more important things for you to do."
The rest is history. The film was the highest grossing movie of 1972, earning $20 Million Dollars at the box office. The movie won universal acclaim from critics and audiences and praise for performances by Al Pacino (Michael Corleone), Marlon Brando (Don Vito Corleone), James Caan and other cast members, including Richard Castellano as Pete Clemenza. After its great success, the movie was a catalyst for the careers of Pacino and Coppola (Director / Screenwriter).
The Godfather is a movie loved by millions, especially serious movie buffs and those of the Italian community.
CLEMENZA TAUGHT US HOW to MAKE SAUCE
Yes Clemenza taught many how to make Sauce, which is also known as Gravy, and there is a hot debate over that subject in itself. Depending on your own Italian-American family, where your family comes from in Italy, and where they live in America (New York, Jersey, Philly, etc. ) these are the factors that determining whether you call it Sauce or Gravy. It really doesn't matter what you call it, whether it's Gravy, Sunday Sauce, Sauce, or Sunday Gravy, what matters is that it is delicious.
Yes we learn a few things from Clemenza, like frying the Garlic in Olive Oil, then frying the Tomatoes and Tomato Paste before you "shove in your Sausage and Meatballs. Add a little wine. A little Sugar," and that's Clemenza's trick. Well many Italian-Americans know these things, but many learned a thing or tow from CLemenza, especially the Sugar thing. All good Italians know that you add the sugar to cut a the acidity of the tomatoes, thus balancing thing out.
One big thing, is that, in the movie, Clemenza does not give us any measurements, or recipe for the Meatballs, though we do know he used two cans of tomatoes, and two cans of tomato paste, the rest is up to you, or you can go by one of a multitude of recipes, and the one most excepted, and that is Clemenza's Mob War Godfather Sunday Sauce, in the book Sunday Sauce by best selling Italian Cookbook author Daniel Bellino "Z," which we feel is the best recipe as well.
So, if you've never made it, it's high time you do. Learn how to make Clemenza's Sauce, or any other including the other great one in Mafia Cinematic History, the Prison Sauce ( reicpe in Sunday Sauce) in Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas. We love them both of these versions of Italian-America's most beloved and important dish of all, and that is Sunday Sauce (Gravy).
"Make some today" !!!