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Jun 11, 2004

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions | recipes

sausage-pepper-onion

Last year I picked up The Godfather by Mario Puzo and could not put it down.* I think I was up until 3 a.m. two nights in a row just reading and reading. The images of power, character, masculinity, violence, and loyalty -- and yes, of course, Family, are exceptionally resonant, even as the book itself is no work of fine literature.

Mentions of cooking and eating repeat through the book, and for months I have been craving what I think the food must taste like. (A shame, indeed, that last summer I didn't attend the wedding of two friends in Sicily.)

Tonight for my dad's birthday, I grabbed a few of the ingredients I recalled being mentioned in the book, and put them together for dinner.

Here, the recipe:

Ingredients: 1-1/4 lbs. sweet Italian sausage (Premio brand from Costco is good and cheap); 2 red bell peppers, sliced (peppers ought be roasted beforehand, but I did not think of this until later); 1 yellow onion (cut into slices); olive oil; 2 tbs. dried basil; 2 tbs. dried parsley.

> In a large heavy skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat, and brown the sausage on all sides that you can.

> Add the onions and cook until translucent. The sausage will be nearly done by now.

> Add the dried basil and parsley.

> Add the red peppers at the center (near the heat), with sausage and onions to the side. Add more olive oil as you wish.

Soon enough you will have something that looks pretty much like the photo at top. We served with rice and the 2003 Woop Woop Shiraz. All were pretty damned satisfied, even though I forgot to add garlic. And even though I forgot that eggs were included with the peppers and sausage during lunch with Albert Neri

*Note: when I read the book, I had not yet seen the movie. But I had seen Goodfellas and had enjoyed the scene in which the mafiosi in prison are taking turns at cooking the fine Italian ingredients that come to them by package.

12:01 AM in Recipes | Permalink

Comments

that prison scene from Goodfellas is one of my alltime favorite food scenes in a movie, esp. the part where one of the mob bosses (Paul Sorvino?) is using a double-edge razor blade to slice garlic. isn't that where Liotta, in the voice-over, is explaining that whatever Sorvino's failings as a person and/or mob boss, he made a damn good sauce...

Posted by: georg | Jun 11, 2004 8:25:25 AM

Hi Georg -- I don't recall the dialogue, but you inspired me to search for it in the imdb.com quotes (which didn't have that scene, alas), which inspired me to get the movie again. Oh, that, and I've just started subscribing to NetFlix!

Posted by: Phil | Jun 11, 2004 1:32:12 PM

Voiceover by Ray Liotta:

In prison, dinner was always a big thing.

We had a pasta course, then we had a meat or a fish. Paulie did the prep work. He was doing a year for contempt...and had a wonderful system for garlic. He used a razor and sliced it so thin it would liquefy in the pan with a little oil. It was a very good system.

Vinnie was in charge of the tomato sauce. Get that smell? Three kinds of meat in the meatballs: veal, beef, and pork. You got to have pork. That's the flavor.

I felt he used too many onions, but it was still a very good sauce.

PAULIE: Don't put too many onions in the sauce.

VINNIE: I didn't put too much onions in, Paul. There are only three small onions.

PAULIE: Three onions? How many tomatoes?

VINNIE: Two big cans.

PAULIE: You don't need three onions.

ME: Word, Paulie.

The lesson here? ALWAYS LISTEN TO PAULIE.

Posted by: Fikri | Jun 11, 2004 2:03:43 PM

Thanks, Fik!

I think we need to do a potluck where we do (our versions of) food we've seen in movies or books. [Oh hey, and I found your chili ladle in the trunk of my car!]

I wouldn't be surprised if some folks have published "recipes from the movies" but I'm certainly too snobby/undisciplined to use such a book. Writing it, on the other hand, would be a pleasure. Especially if it were themed ("recipes from mob movies," "recipes from 'Eat Drink Man Woman' "recipes from Bond movies. ('It'll take more than crabmeat ravigote to get me into bed, Mr. Bond.'))

Oh and related to such derivative texts: have I mentioned the fun book "Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli"? It's a collection of mob movie quotes that illustrate principles of modern business.

Posted by: Phil | Jun 11, 2004 2:13:53 PM

i would be into that, but i don't know where to get a giant sea turtle, which would be needed to emulate an important dish in "babette's feast".

Posted by: lisa | Jun 11, 2004 2:59:38 PM

I thought "Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli" was a book of essays by Sarah Vowell.

Also, I would be highly intimidated by an attempt to recreate recipes from "Eat Drink Man Woman."

Posted by: Sarah | Jun 12, 2004 8:50:38 PM

Vowell's book is "Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World." Regarding EDMW, perhaps you could recreate dishes from the middle of the program when the dad has briefly lost his touch.

Posted by: Phil | Jun 12, 2004 9:01:35 PM

I've always wanted to have a platefull of whatever it was they were cooking for Louis Prima in Big Night.

http://citypaper.net/articles/032599/food.sidedish.shtml

Posted by: pinky | Jun 13, 2004 4:32:38 PM

ah yes, the timpano. Phil, I think I mentioned this to you earlier in the evening on Friday, but I have somewhere a recipe for a somewhat simplified version of timpano, and even that is so insanely complicated and time-consuming that the idea of actually making it fills me with dread. Well, perhaps not dread but Louis Prima would have to be coming for dinner before I'd want to attempt it :)

Posted by: georg | Jun 14, 2004 7:59:37 AM

Phil, you're a really funny guy...

Posted by: | Jun 14, 2004 3:00:44 PM

"Phil, you're a really funny guy..."

Ha!

For those who don't know, here's the original scene from Goodfellas:

Henry Hill: You're a pistol, you're really funny. You're really funny.

Tommy DeVito: What do you mean I'm funny?

Henry Hill: It's funny, you know. It's a good story, it's funny, you're a funny guy.
[laughs]

Tommy DeVito: what do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What?

Henry Hill: It's just, you know. You're just funny, it's... funny, the way you tell the story and everything.

Tommy DeVito: [it becomes quiet] Funny how? What's funny about it?

Anthony Stabile: Tommy no, You got it all wrong.

Tommy DeVito: Oh, oh, Anthony. He's a big boy, he knows what he said. What did ya say? Funny how?

Henry Hill: Jus...

Tommy DeVito: What?

Henry Hill: Just... ya know... you're funny.

Tommy DeVito: You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

Henry Hill: Just... you know, how you tell the story, what?

Tommy DeVito: No, no, I don't know, you said it. How do I know? You said I'm funny. How the fuck am I funny, what the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what's funny!

Henry Hill: [long pause] Get the fuck out of here, Tommy!

Tommy DeVito: [everyone laughs] Ya motherfucker! I almost had him, I almost had him. Ya stuttering prick ya. Frankie, was he shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning.

Posted by: Phil | Sep 13, 2008 3:19:06 PM

I love all italian food, but specially this dish. Italian sausages are one of the most appetizing dishes that I've tasted in all mi life. I love them.

Posted by: viagra online | Jul 12, 2010 4:56:59 PM

Hi Georg -- I don't recall the dialogue, but you inspired me to search for it in the imdb.com quotes (which didn't have that scene, alas), which inspired me to get the movie again. Oh, that, and I've just started subscribing to NetFlix!

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