SHAUN’S SIRACUSA SAUCE
Shaun’s “SIRACUSA” Sauce
(Actual Italians marvel at it’s authenticity)
“ONLY THE SPECIAL ONES GET MY SAUCE!”
A long time ago Johnny Bonanno’s grandmother, Anna Maria Bonanno, an immigrant from the town of Siracusa, in Sicily, taught me to make this sauce. Over the years it hasn’t changed much. As much as I’ve tried, I just couldn’t improve it. Mrs. Bonanno insisted that each time I made this sauce, I should give a portion to someone special. She was a wise woman.
This product has been known to cure the following:
MALE PATTERN BALDNESS
CHRONIC NAIL BITING
THE HEARTBREAK OF PSORIASIS
SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN LABORATORY ANIMALS
FEAR OF TRUFFLES
Remember, tics and fire ants hate people who eat my sauce.
Four 28 ounce cans of Italian plum tomatoes. There are many brands available. Don’t fall for, “Wow, these California Marzano tomatoes are great.” They’re not. Product of Italy only.
One can Italian tomato paste.
Extra Virgin olive oil.
Six good sized cloves of garlic – minced. You can never have too much garlic.
Fresh basil. The pile of leaves on your cutting board should be about the size of a volleyball. You can never have too much basil. Chop into sensibly sized pieces, but not too small.
One good sized sweet onion – peeled, sliced, and the slices halved.
Freshly ground black pepper.
Kosher sea salt.
Crushed red pepper. More is better than less.
Red or white wine. More is better than less.
Granulated sugar. A small handful.
With the stove burner on medium, sprinkle some olive oil on the bottom of your pot. More is better than less.
Into the heated oil goes first the onion – cook until soft. Then the garlic. Don’t let it burn. (Maybe 45 seconds) Spinkle with sea salt and ground pepper. Now, in goes the tomato paste and a hand full of the chopped basil. Stir vigorously. This becomes the glue. The quality of the glue determines the quality of the sauce. Simmer for a minute or two, until it turns into heavenly red sludge. Now, in go the tomatoes. Crush them as they cook in the pot. I use a potato masher. Crush thoroughly, but not completely. You want some solidity to your sauce. Now, in goes the remainder of the basil. No, it’s not too much. You can never have enough basil. Now, sprinkle with crushed red pepper – you guessed it, more is better than less.
Now we reach a critical moment: In The Godfather, there is a scene in the Corleone kitchen where Clemenza is making sauce for a bunch of family soldiers. Michael gets a phone call from Kay, but refuses to say he loves her within earshot of the boys in the kitchen. Clemenza teases him when he hangs the phone up.
“C’mere kid, learn somethin’. You never know when you might have to cook for twenty guys.” He explains his process to Michael, ending with, “You put in your wine, a little sugar, and that’s my trick.”
In order for your sauce to be successful, it is imperative that you quote Clemenza. As you put in the final two ingredients, you must say out loud, “You put in your wine, a little sugar, and that’s my trick.”
Reduce heat, simmer for two hours, and………………..Siracusa Sauce.
If Mario Perillo were alive, he would describe this sauce as, “Più è meglio di meno.” This roughly translates as ‘More is better than less.’
© 2017 Shaun Costello