Spaghetti and Meatballs

GINO’S SECRET SAUCE In SUNDAY SAUCE

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SECRET SAUCE “SEGRETO”

Excerpt from Daniel Bellino Zwicke’s “SUNDAY SAUCE”
Due for November 30, 2013 Publication

Tagliolini with Salsa Segreto. Secret Sauce? We lost our beloved Old-School Italian Red-Sauce Restaurant Gino’s of Lexington Avenue a couple years back. Gino’s opened in 1945 by Neapolitan Immigrant Gino Circicello was a Gem of a Restaurant loved by its many loyal customers who kept the place packed and vibrant night-after-night. The place was perfect; Great Food and good wine at reasonable prices coupled with excellent service by friendly attentive waiters inside a homey comfy dining-room that everyone loved, from its cozy little Bar at the front of the restaurant, its Phone Booth (one of the last surviving in New York), and the famed Scalamandre Zebra Wallpaper that is as much a part of Gino’s as the tenured old waiters and the popular Chicken Parmigiano.
Among all the tasty dishes with the Pasta with Salsa Segreto, “The Secret Sauce,” it was as tasty as can be, and a perennial favorite with Gino’s legendary clientele, including the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Joe DiMaggio, and a string of luminaries to long to name. Gino’s had many wonderful dishes that were soul satisfy, unpretentious, but tasty as heck. They were all the usual suspects of Italian Red-Sauce Joints everywhere; from Baked Clams Areganata, to Shrimp Cocktail, to Spaghetti With Clam Sauce, Lasagna, the famed Veal Pamigiano, “the entire menu.”
I used to go to Gino’s with my cousin Joe, my sister Barbara came a couple times, as my brother Michael. But it was usually me and Cousin Joe and if anyone else tagging along. Now I love my pasta as all good Italian-Americans do, but my cousin Joe? He had me beat. The guy loves his pasta, and wanted it practically every day. I believe we tried the Secret Sauce on our first trip there together. I think with Tagliolini, but you can have it with Spaghetti, Rigatoni or whichever pasta you like. Well we loved it from the very first, and would get it every time we went. Often we’d get Baked Clams and Shrimp Cocktail, followed by a Half Portion each of Tagliolini with Salsa Segreto, and as our main we might split a Veal Milanese with a “Nice Bottle of Chianti.” We’d finish the meal with Espresso and a couple of Desserts, maybe a Tira Mi Su and a Chocolate Tartufo.
So the Secret Sauce, what’s in it you want to know? Yes I identified the Secret ingredients one day, I made it, and it tastes exactly the same, and that’s as tasty as can possibly be, a 10 out of 10, you can’t get any better. It’s quite simple and you’d be amazed, but that’s the essence of all Italian Cooking, simply tasty. The Secret of The Secret Sauce is, “I shouldn’t tell you but I will.” I should be charging you $100 just for this one recipe but I won’t. “I hope you know what a bargain you people are all getting; my Sunday Sauce, Clemenza’s Sunday Sauce, my Lentil Soup recipe, Marinara Sauce, and so much more.” I’m getting robbed. But here you go, The Salsa Segreto (Secret Sauce) from the former Gino’s Restaurant on Lexington Avenue across from Bloomingdales is _________ and __________________   added to a simple tomato sauce as you toss the pasta (your Choice) with the Sauce. Basta! That’s it! The Cat is out of the Bag. Enjoy!

Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce

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Well, it seems we’ve been waiting forever, 41 years to be exact since the release of one of America’s most epic movies, The Godfather by Italian-American Director Francis Ford Coppola. What have we been waiting for? A book dedicated to the legendary scene when Corleone Family Caporegime Peter Clemenza teaches Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) how to make “Sauce,” Sunday Sauce that is, aka Gravy, the beloved, monumental, most important dish in all of Italian-America, its cooking, eating and gathering of the family. Clemenza fries up some garlic with tomatoes and Tomato Paste, then “throw in your Meatballs and Sausage,” he adds a little wine, a bit of sugar, and that’s his secret. It’s a piece of movie, AMerican, and Italian American History, purely classical and it’s in Daniel B. Bellino’s new book Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce, the most anticipated cookbook of 2013 ..

Yes, Clemenza’s Meatball Sunday Sauce “Gravy” recipe is in their in all its fabulousness, as is Charlie & Big Paulie’s Goodfellas Sunday Sauce and Henry’s Veal & Peppers recipes. LEarn how to make Meatballs, Pasta Fazool, Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, Mussels Marinara and much more. Daniel even includes the top secret recipe for Salsa Segreta, the “Secret Sauce” of beloved (now defunct) New York Italian favorite restaurant Gino’s …

There’s Daniel’s own famed Sunday Sauce and Amatriciana recipes and much more. This book is an absolute Gem “Must Have” for anyone interested in the wonderful Food and History of Italian-American, Italian Food and of course the star of the show, Sunday Sauce. You will delight in every recipe and the whimsical stories and anecdotes of the Italian American lifestyle, particularly in New York and of Mob Movies. As I’ve said it is a must have and especially now with Daniel’s generous introductory offer of just .99 Cents a copy. It’s a steal.

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RONZONI And Italian American New York Memories

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“Ronzoni Sono Buoni,” if you are Italian and grew up in the New York area in the great decades of the 1960’s and or 70s you know the slogan. We Italians do love our past, we’re weened on it, it’s the main staple of our diet. Many are fanatical about and love it so, the must have it several times a week. I’m one. Pasta, covered in a wide variety of sauces and part of some soups, Pasta Fagole (Pasta Fazool), in some Minestrone’s, Pasta & Peas, and Pasta con Ceci. Yes, we are weened on it. Mommy gave me, my bothers and sister Pastina coated in a bit of butter and Parmigiano when we were just toddlers and every so often I have to pick up a box of Ronzoni Pastina, as I love and crave it still, and of late as with many my age, you start crazy things you loved as a child, thus my stints with Pastina. “Ronzoni Sono Buoni,” it means, Ronzoni is So Good, and that it is. This brand of Pasta, born in New York City at the turn of the 20th Century has been a mainstay of not only Italian-Americans of the East Coast but, for all. For years before the surge of many a imported pasta product in the U.S. Ronzoni, was not the only game in town for Macaroni, there was the Prince and Creamette, as well, but ronzoni dominated the market and though I don’t have stats, I would wage to say that 85 to 90 % of all commercial pasta sold in the New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia areas was Ronzoni, the pasta in the bright blue boxes, Ronzoni Sono Buoni. God I wonder how many plates and bowls of Spaghetti, Ziti and other Ronzoni pastas I ate over the years, starting with Pastina as a toddler and moving to Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce or Meatballs, Baked Ziti, Stuffed Shells and more. Oh stuffed shells, they bring back memories of my mother who loved them. We had them often, along with Lasagna made with Ronzoni Lasagana. You don’t see Stuffed Shells around that much any more, they used to be on many a restaurant and even more home menus. There popularity has waned, but every once and a while I’ll pick up a box of Ronzoni large shells, just for the purpose of bringing back those memories of mom making them and me loving them as a child. I’ll make a batch of tomato sauce, cook the Ronzoni Shells, and stuffe them with ricotta and Parmigiano, bake them in tomato sauce, and “Voila” Stuffed Shells of days gone by. I do the same with a Pastina as I still love the dish so, dressed with butter and fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Yum, delicious little pleasure you can whip up in minutes and bring back versions of your youth. All with some butter, Parmigiano and a box of ronzoni Pastia. That’s Ronzoni, every bit a part of my life and youth as a Slinky, Etch-A-Sketch, The Three Stooges, Saturday Morning Cartoons, and all the favorites of my youth, “Ronzon Sono Buoni” it’s so good.

 

Article: Daniel Bellino Zwicke

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SUNDAY SAUCE

SUNDAY SAUCE

One of the great traditions of the Italian American enclave in the U.S. is the ritual of Sunday afternoon when the entire family gets together for Mama’s or Nona’s famed “Sunday Sauce.” What is it? Well there are a number of variations on the theme. Most Sunday Sauce’s are made with Italian Sausage, Braciola, and Meatballs. Some people make theirs with pork ribs, beef neck, and possibly chicken thighs and backs. These meats are slowly simmered for several hours with tomato, minced onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. I generally like to make my Sunday Sauce with sausage, meatballs, and pork ribs. Other times I’ll make it with sausage, ribs, and braciola. An old tradition in some families is that mother or grandma would start the sauce early on a Sunday morning, get it simmering away for a couple hours on top of the stove, then put it in the oven for a couple hours while everyone goes to church, the sauce slowly simmers and when you get back home, the sauce is ready.
The Sunday Sauce that my mother would make was with sausage, meatballs and beef braciola. My memories are vivid watching my mother stuffing the braciola with garlic,
parsley, Pecorino, and pignoli nuts, then sewing up the bundles with a needle and thread so they would hold together while simmering in the gravy (many families all over the New York and around the country simply call Sunday Sauce “Gravy”). Another fond memory was helping my mother roll and shape the meatballs.
As for me, my Sunday Sauce will vary depending on my mood. One thing I love to do when making the sauce is the addition of pork spare ribs, which not to many people use, I love it.
Whenever people eat my sauce, they go nuts for the ribs and some are surprised cause they might never have had them in a sauce before. They didn’t know that you could use pork spareribs. The ribs are traditional with some but not everybody. It is quite a shame for those who don’t add the ribs because they give the sauce some wonderful flavor and they are incredibly delicious to eat after braising in the sauce for a couple of hours. Whenever I make the sauce and I’m dishing it out to friends and family, I always make sure that I have my fare share of the ribs. Pork ribs cooked in this manner, simmering in the sauce are oh so succulent and tasty. They are far beyond compare. “They are Out-of-this-World!!!” The friends, one-by-one, go nuts for them. “Yes they are most than tasty!”
And what to serve with the Sunday Sauce you ask? It should be a short macaroni; rigatoni, ziti, or gnocchi are best.
The rituals of cooking, serving, and eating Sunday Sauce is a time honored one. It is a beautiful thing. If you mention the term Sunday Sauce to any number of millions of Italian-Americans, the wheels start turning in their heads. Thoughts of how tasty it is, all the different components; the meatballs, sausages, braciola, (maybe ribs, beef or pork neck), the pasta, and the gravy itself.
They think about sitting at the table with friends and or family, people they love. They think about the antipasti that will start the meal and about some good Italian Wine, maybe a nice Chianti. They think about the warmth in the air, loved ones, Dino, Sinatra, and of course, the
Sunday Sauce itself. “It’s a beautiful thing!!!” If you’ve never done it, “Try it!” If you haven’t cooked one for some time, plan a get-together soon. “Sunday Sauce, it brings people together,” in a most delightful way.

“SUNDAY SAUCE” is excerpted from Daniel Bellino Zwicke’s
upcoming book “La Tavola”

GRAVY

 

"La TAVOLA" AMERICA'S BEST BOLOGNESE SAUCE .. Recipe in "La TAVOLA"  by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

“La TAVOLA” AMERICA’S BEST BOLOGNESE SAUCE .. Recipe in “La TAVOLA” by Daniel Bellino Zwicke