Catherine Scorsese Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Joe Pesci kisses Catherine Scorsese


Directed by Martin Scorsese

Scorsese’s mother Catherine, who was born on Elizabeth Street, appeared as Tommy (Joe Pesci)’s mother, and she famously cooked for the cast and crew of her son’s movies. When Jimmy Kimmel asked Martin Scorsese about shaving garlic with a razor—that’s what Paul Vario (played by Paul Sorvino) does in prison—the director said, “My mother made a dish called chicken with lemon and garlic and if you go to Francis Coppola’s restaurant he has it on the menu… It’s pretty good, pretty close… The garlic was cut so thin and she would put it on the chicken and the chicken would be roasted… and the garlic would blacken and then disappear into the lemon juice. It was delicious.” Mmmm.
Catherine Scorsese died in 1997, at age 84. Martin Scorsese published a book of her recipes, and his famous friends remembered her cooking: Robert DeNiro said, “She made the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. I always wanted to serve it at TriBeCa Grill,” while Harvey Keitel said, “In my memory, Catherine was the epitome of a warm, loving Italian mother. She enjoyed watching me eat as much as I enjoyed eating her cooking.” And Pesci said, “Katie was one of the sweetest ladies I ever met. She was a true innocent. She never did anything bad; she never knew anything bad. In terms of her cooking, it’s a toss-up as to who’s a better cook, Katie or my mother.


From R to L : Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Catherine Scorsese, Rober DeNiro

Late Night Eating Scene in in Goodfellas …



by Catherine Scorsese

The Pasta Sauce
The recipes in Catherine Scorsese’s cookbook, ”Italianamerican” (Random House, 1996, $21), range from pasta e fagioli to ricotta pie. The book, also by Georgia Downard, contains the standbys of thousands of southern Italian immigrant households that, by adding or withholding specific ingredients, intensely personalized each recipe.
The pasta sauce recipe, below, was included in the credits of a 10-minute Scorsese film, ”Italianamerican,” which recorded a visit by the director with his parents at their home. The movie was shown at the New York Film Festival in 1974.
Catherine Scorsese’s
Pasta Sauce
Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
1 large onion, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cans (28 ounces each) whole tomatoes in thick puree
2 cans (16 ounces each) tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
1 all-purpose potato, peeled
5 tablespoons minced fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
5 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
6 ounces ground pork
6 ounces ground veal
6 ounces ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan.
1. In a 6-quart, or larger, saucepan or casserole, cook the onion in the oil, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
2. In a blender or food processor, puree tomatoes and sauce. Add tomato mixture to pan along with water, tomato paste, garlic, carrots, potato, 3 tablespoons of basil, 3 tablespoons of parsley, salt and cayenne to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and, stirring occasionally, cook, partly covered, for 30 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the milk until softened.
4. In a large bowl, combine bread-crumb mixture with meat, egg, Parmesan, remaining 2 tablespoons basil and parsley, salt, cayenne and 1/2 cup of sauce. Gradually shred and add meat mix to sauce, a little at a time. Partly cover, and bring sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Before serving, remove garlic cloves, carrots and potato.
5. Use about 2 cups of sauce for each pound of pasta.
Yield: about 12 cups.

Martin Scorsese’s Father CHARLIE Makes GRAVY in GOODFELLAS

Famed prison scene in GODDFELLAS where Charles Scorsese plays Vinny
making GRAVY (aka SUNDAY SAUCE) in Prison …




this scene was shot on the rooftop of Martin Scorsese’s Parents Apartment

on ELIZABETH STREET in Lower Manhattan ….

Catherine Scorsese Cooked all the Italian Food for the Wedding Party Scene,

as she cooked the Food that was on the Table in the Goodfellas late night eating scene

and all of Martin Scorsese Films when Italian Food is required in a scene. Basta!

Grandma Bellino’s Italian Cookbook


by Daniel Bellino “Z”


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