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How to make The Godfather pasta sauce

How to make The Godfather pasta sauce

How to make The Godfather pasta sauce
24 October 2012

The often rather underrated element of gangster movies is the saliva-nabbing selection of great Italian food that's on display.

We've already told you how to reproduce the prison feast from Goodfellas and now we take a look at another mob classic, The Godfather. Clemenza gives Michael some indispensable advice on how to make the perfect pasta sauce and we've given it our own spin, thanks to Dave Watts, head chef at the Cotswold House Hotel.

Serves four

Preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes


  • Ceramic dish or large pan
  • Chopping board
  • Cooks knife
  • Vegetable peeler


  • 50ml rapeseed oil
  • 3 x onions (finely diced)
  • 1 x medium sized carrot (finely diced)
  • 2 x sticks celery (finely diced)
  • 2 x sprigs of thyme
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • 2 x cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 x tbsp of tomato puree
  • 500g vine ripened tomatoes or a can of quality tinned tomatoes
  • 250ml white chicken stock
  • 150ml red wine
  • 2 x pinch of salt
  • 1 x bunch of curly parsley
  • Grind of fresh black pepper


Place your frying pan onto a medium heat and add the oil. Peel and dice all vegetables to a similar size. Place the onion into your pan first, add the salt, cover and cook for five minutes until soft and with no colour. Add carrot, celery and garlic and continue to cook for another three to five minutes until these soften. Add the thyme, bay leaves and tomato puree, and cook for a further two minutes. Turn the heat up to high and add the red wine allowing this to reduce to almost nothing. Now add the tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid and allow to cook for fifteen minutes. Uncover and allow this to reduce a little.

To Finish

Take your favourite egg pasta and cook in salted boiling water. When cooked drain and add to the pan with the sauce. Roughly chop the parsley, season to taste with a little salt and fresh black pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Dave Watts is head chef at the Cotswold House Hotel. Rooms start from just £120 per person, with main courses at The Cotswold Grill ranging from £9.50 to £23.00. The Dining Room (fine dining restaurant) reopened in May. For further information, hotel and restaurant reservations, visit or call 01386 840330.