Making Clemenza’s Meatballs! Celebrate “The Godfather” At 50 With This Classic Recipe!

The Godfather movie

Here’s To A Tasty Celebration Of Mobster Meals! 

Time to bite into the greatest film ever made, Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather”…turning 50 this month – but Clemenza’s Meatballs are timeless!

Aside from being the single greatest movie ever made, the film deals with the Mob – gangsters who lived large, and ate well too!

Time For A Special “DINNER IN A MOVIE!

Corleone Family Meatballs

Behold Clemenza’s Meatballs!

“The Godfather” is chock full of food – family meals, wedding cakes, executions that take place in a diner that serves “the best veal”…food in this film is a vital part of life, and death. For example, Don Corleone’s daughter Connie makes a meal for her obnoxious husband, who announced that he’ll eat out later – you know, with his mistress…

The Godfather movie

Connie goes into a fit and flings the dinnerware around the house, causing her husband to beat her…what we find out later is that this was instigated for one reason: to lure Sonny out of his compound, and to one of the many iconic death scenes in the movie: at the toll booth.

The Godfather Sonny Corleone


Time To “Go To The Mattresses!”

When this leads to the five families re-igniting a mob war, they go “to the mattresses”, which means they all sleep in one place to be ready for battle at any time.

Clemenza teaches Mikey how to make Sunday sauce for this house full of guys…here is the scene, and the recipe – first, the scene from the movie, courtesy of “The Godfather” blu-ray!

And here is that recipe again, courtesy of Clemenza:

“Heh, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for 20 guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn’t stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh? And a little bit o’ wine. An’ a little bit o’ sugar, and that’s my trick.”

Godfather meatballs

Let’s Get Cooking With Clemenza!

Here’s the recipe from the film:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large (28-ounce) cans tomatoes (whole, crushed or chopped)
1 (10-ounce) or 2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
3 to 4 Italian sausages, grilled and sliced
1 pound cooked meatballs (use your favorite recipe)
Dry red wine
¼ cup sugar
Hot cooked pasta

godfather movie meatballs

First, take whatever ground meat you like and add some fresh minced garlic and onion, plus some italian herbs….roll those into meatballs and sear them off in a pan…now, make the sauce.

godfather meatballs

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes; do not let the garlic burn. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously so that a relatively smooth consistency is reached.

Godfather meatball recipe

Add sausages and meatballs. Stir until the meat is coated. Add a splash of red wine, then the sugar, according to taste. As you can see, Clemenza is very serious about making a good meal for his men…

Clemenza meatball recipe

Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Serve over hot cooked pasta.

Corleone Family Meatballs

And whatever you do, don’t insult the head of the family when it comes time to eat:

The Godfather meatball recipe

The Godfather – “Dinner In A Movie!”

So, make the meatballs, put in the movie’s special edition blu-ray, and enjoy!

Oh, and one last thing – Don Corleone turns 50 this month!

It’s the greatest film of all time and here’s why – click my link for great stories about the making of this brilliant movie picture!

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4 replies

    • Robbie, they are delicious…in fact, one of my upcoming “52 In 22” cooking challenges tackles a similar dish that was made famous at a restaurant that is impossible to get in to! Also, “The Godfather” is my favorite film of all time and it’s a movie I watch on a fairly regular basis…thanks for commenting!

  1. I enjoy how they include food in gangster films. Like shaving the garlic with a razor blade in ‘Goodfellas’.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  1. Making Clemenza’s Meatballs! Celebrate “The Godfather” At 50 With This Classic Recipe! — Bite! Eat! Repeat! – johnrieber

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