The first time I watched The Godfather, I was thirteen. My buddy Joey Reale (thanks Joey! I have no idea where you are now, but I hope you’re doing well!) lent me his father’s ancient VHS copy and honestly, I didn’t get it.
Before your inner film nerd has a stroke and decides to Sonny me next time I’m on the turnpike, let me explain:
A) I was thirteen and living in the leafy suburbs of South Florida. Do you know what the average 13-year-old suburbanite knows? Jack with a side of shit. My life was more She’s All That (pre-makeover) than a sagacious epic about crime, honor and family.
B) The VHS copy was dark. I don’t mean thematically, I mean literally dark. As in, I had no idea what Jack Woltz was screaming about. I thought dude had a really bad nightmare or something.
Now that I’m an adult with a cinema studies minor under my belt, I figured it was high time I gave The Godfather another shot.
But I couldn’t just pop on the DVD on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It needed to be more of an event. So,I figured dinner and a movie would be the only acceptable way to watch this classic. I was planning on ordering take-out from our local Italian joint but since it’s both overpriced and mediocre, I figured why not make like a nonni and make my own Italian dinner.
I kept it simple — spaghetti pomodoro. It’s essentially idiot-proof and I found a pretty cool recipe on Tory Burch’s blog (of all places) on which to riff, so I fired up the Dean Martin station on Pandora and got to cooking.
Pomodoro sauce consists of nothing more than tomatoes, basil, garlic, shallots (I prefer them to onions), extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar (to cut the acidity of the tomatoes).
However, if you’re an illiterate dingbat like me, you’ll pay no attention to the fact that the can says ‘Whole Tomatoes’ on it and then, be forced to smoosh them with a potato masher (which was actually kind of fun).
I wanted to slice the garlic with a razorblade, but I figured that would probably lead to bloodshed. Also, I didn’t want to spend my afternoon explaining to the very nice paramedics that this wasn’t so much a suicide attempt as it was an attempt to emulate Paul Sorvino’s character in Goodfellas.
My apartment smelled a-mazing while this was bubbling away on the stove.
I don’t have an immersion blender, I improvised and zsuszhed (what? That’s a word) it in Not Magic Bullet
And then, spent the next fifteen minutes trying to unscrew the damn lid.
At this point, I was staving off the urge to shove my face directly into the pan.
Finish with a little fresh basil and Pecorino Romano and ta-da! A meal worthy of a Medici…or a cinematic classic. Whatever.
Four down, 25 to go.
P.S. – It was delicious