12 June 2009

Famous Food Friday - Alan King, Frank Sinatra

This Friday is a Famous Food "Twofer". Comedienne Alan King shares with us Frank Sinatra’s Spaghetti sauce recipe. The recipes appears in King's cookbook, Is Salami and Eggs Better Than Sex?, King's culinary memoir in which he drops more names than a 1960’s Entertainment Tonight tribute marathon.

Here are just a few:

Frank Sinatra
Henry Kissinger
John Steinbeck
John Huston
Orson Wells
Dudley Moore
Edward G. Robinson
Kennedy’s (no fist names just addresses -- Hyannis, McLean…)

He’s so busy name-dropping he needed some help with the recipes so he called in long time New York Times restaurant critic, Mimi Sheraton. It’s like Jim Carey writing a cookbook and Ruth Reichl doing the recipes.

There is a lot of smoking in the book and a lot of red meat. Throw in massive amounts of testosterone with a Rat Pack vibe and you’ve got it.

As for Sinatra the story goes like this. King and Sinatra had a discussion about the best way to make spaghetti sauce. Old Blue Eyes feels there is little compromise when it comes to his sauce. The discussion ended with Sinatra on his feet and screaming. No one messes with Sinatra’s sauce. The tomato sauce recipe was as closely guarded as the formula for Coca-Cola. Unfortunately for Sinatra, his vehement explanation of why his sauce was so good, led to a revelation of the recipe. Alan King not only wrote it down, he published it. Here it is:

Frank Sinatra’s Tomato Sauce

In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. In it sauté 1/4 onion slice vertically into thin crescent wedges and 4 whole peeled cloves of garlic.
Place the contents of one 1-pound 13-ounce can of Italian tomatoes in a blender with half of the packing liquid. Mix gently for less than a minute to break up the pieces. Slowly pour the tomatoes into the frying pan. Be very careful about spattering hot oil.
Stir in 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon dried basil. Simmer gently, half covered, for 15 minutes.
Pour over 1 pound cooked, hot, well-drained spaghetti and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese can be passed separately.

Seems like a perfectly nice sauce though I would hardly come to blows with Sinatra over it.

As for the pressing question in the title, King says why choose: Have sex and follow it up with salami and eggs.

Sinatra says I've Got a Crush On You.

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