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Soprano's Dinner, what to serve

With the new season of the Soprano's starting on Sunday I am looking for some menu suggestions. I would like to make either the Sunday Gravy or Maranara sauce using the recipe found in the Rao's cookbook. Beyond that I'm open to any and all ideas.

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  1. How about an antipasti platter, followed by lasagna bolognese or sausage and peppers, ending with cannolis? Sounds like something I might make that night.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      Interesting timing having the Soprano's return on Easter !

      1. lasagne
        eggplant or veal parmesan
        stuffed shells
        spaghetti and meatballs
        baked ziti
        orechiette pasta with sausage and fennel and or escarole
        shrimp scampi
        baby lamb chops with garlic and rosemary
        mixed green salad
        green beans
        sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic and red chili flakes
        garlic bread
        ricotta cheesecake

        2 Replies
        1. re: hotoynoodle

          This is like the menu from the Gods.

          Just two comments:

          - I would strike the "or" in your seond line and replce with "and". Go for both. Maybe a little chicken parm as well.
          - Orechiette. If you think about all the scenes of Tony in the kitchen eating leftover pasta, it appears he eats rotini, not orchiette. May want to stay true to the Big Guy
          - I am not a big fan of ricotta cheescake, but that a jfood issue i am working on so give me time.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I'm making ricotta cheesecake (the one with the latticework on top) this year, but I usually make grain pie, that's my favorite. Had the cannolis last night, just to get warmed up.
            Usually I make homemade Italian heroes with lots of cappicola and salami, slice hot peppers and oil and vinegar. It's weird that it's on Easter so we'll have to get a little fancier, I'm thinking manicotti or ravioli myself.

          2. I would go with a Jersey theme - pork roll, deep fried hot dogs etc. Hoagies - isn't their storefront famous for their sandwiches, that even FBI can't keep coming?

            6 Replies
            1. re: welle

              lol, i grew up in jersey and never saw a deep-fried hot dog in my life.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                You must be a SoJo Hoto. Up north we had lots of deep fried dogs. Look for the poster "hotdoglover" and read some of his post. He is the absolute authority on dogs in the great NJ area.

                1. re: jfood

                  northwest jersey here. i assumed they must be something from down the shore.

              2. re: welle

                In NJ they are sub sandwiches, not hoagies and pork roll is called taylor ham. You ain;t from Joisey. :-)))

                1. re: jfood

                  I know I'm obvious :) I only learnt about Taylor ham thanks to the CH. Remember in its previous re-incarnation the Taylor Ham thread was permanently featured on the homepage?

                  If Giulliani didn't strike Sopranos being filmed on SI, we'd be talking about NYC foods not Joisey (note jealous tone?) Jfood, would love to hear more NJ suggestions for the Sopranos theme.

                  1. re: jfood

                    actually, in south jersey they're hoagies--probably the philly influence.

                2. The Rao sauce in the cookbook is not the same as the jarred. If you make it you will be disappointed.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jfood

                    That blows. I've been so excited to make it.

                    1. re: tomdible

                      I disagree. Granted, I have never been to Rao's restaurant and eaten there, but I have made their sauce multiple times and it's one of the best homemade sauces I've ever had. Very easy too.
                      I suggest you make it anyway. Hey, if you don't like it, you don't like it. But, everyone has their own tastes. :-)

                  2. Don't forget to serve something that would represent 'sleeping with the fishes.'

                    1. Lots of good suggestions, but gotta be zitti. Baked zitti.

                      1. Seems to me Carmella was always bringing ricotta pie to someone.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Brandon Nelson

                          Ricotta pie...my wife and I will be having Easter dinner with our son-in-law's mother and our family. Ricotta pie will surely be available at the table...it has been in the past.

                          Buona pasqua e buon appetito!

                          1. re: Brandon Nelson

                            Please . . . it's "rigott' pie!" This Midwesterner couldn't figure out what the heck Carmela was saying when she made that dish in an early episode. She brought it as a bribe to get some lawyer to write a college recommendation for Meadow, didn't she?

                            1. re: Brandon Nelson

                              Carmela brought that ricotta pie to Tony's mother at the retirement home too. When Livia refused to eat it because it "had cholesterol," Carmela swore she she made it with low-fat ricotta.
                              It's a great recipe. Easy. Carmela always made that pie. Tony's favorite.

                            2. Jfood's step-dad was Italian. When we went to his family gatherings his mom made something called Johnny Mazetti. It was baked ziti a la Jahn's Kitchen Sink. They started with a basic baked ziti recipe and added the following: sausage, meat balls, peppers, onions and pepperoni. It was like eating all the pizza that was not served the night before rolled into a pasta dish. And yes, we ate every bite.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: jfood

                                You didn't have much of a choice, did ya? Otherwise, you'd be sleepin' wit da fishes. ;)

                                I'd have cannoli for dessert. But that's just because I love them.
                                And don't forget the gabagool!

                                1. re: QueenB

                                  Wow, the Mods nixed my response before the spinning gear disappeared so let me rephrase the question your honor.

                                  Out of respect to him, his family and his profession I ate the Johnny Mazetti with a nice piece of Garlic Bread.

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    I'd make some braciola to go with that meal.

                                    And start it off with antipasti. With gabagool. And provolone, artichoke hearts, mozzarella (fresh), mortadella and peppers.

                                    God bless the Italians. Such wonderful food.

                                    1. re: QueenB

                                      Gabagol? From what part of southern Italy did your ancestors come? I haven't heard capocollo pronounced that way since my in-laws passed away.

                                      With what do you stuff your braciole, and how do you keep them rolled up? My wife fills the thinly sliced flank steak rolls with Italian parsley, chopped hard-boiled egg, minced garlic, diced onion, and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. She ties the rolls with thin string so that a pair of scissors is needed at the table.

                                      Buona pasqua e buon appetito!

                                      1. re: ChiliDude

                                        To be perfectly honest, I have no blood Italian ancestors. However, my step-grandfather (really, I consider him my grandfather) was Italian, and that was the way he pronounced it. He married my grandmother and taught that German/PA Dutch girl how to cook! I don't know where in Italy his family came from. Wish I could have known more.
                                        I've also never cooked braciola, I've only ever eaten my grandmother's. Her stuffing for them sounds very similar to yours. I know for sure there is parsley, onion and hard boiled egg in them. I also know that she finishes them in the gravy. And yes...they are tied with string. Is there any other way?

                                        1. re: QueenB

                                          My mother never put hard boiled egg. Instead of string, she used toothpicks to keep meat secure and then removed them before serving. Her father was from Calabria and her mother's parents were from Potenza, near Calabria.

                                          1. re: walker

                                            Bravissimo! My wife's patenal grandparents came from Potenza, the capital city of the province by the same name, in the region of Basilicata. My wife's maternal grandparents came from Petilia Policastro, province of Crotone in the region of Calabria. The latter is in the ball of the foot.

                                            BTW, did you ever here of a dish called 'ughi a' in the Calabrese dialect? In the standard Italian it is known as 'olio e aglio.' Don't ask me about the dialect...I'm not of Italian heritage.

                                          2. re: QueenB

                                            I'm not italian either but my understanding is that this is an italian american pronunciation, not an italian one. Esp in the tristate area.

                                          3. re: ChiliDude

                                            Gabagool is how they pronounce it on the show.

                                            1. re: ChiliDude

                                              LOL gabagol is the way my family says it!
                                              and we stuff braciole with Italian Parsley, sliced hardboiled egg minced garlic and grated romano, like Grandma did.

                                              For Easter she would fry a hardboiled egg with the meatballs and cooked it in gravy....

                                    2. Don't forget the famous lasagne with the meat and the sweet sausage that Janice tried to pass off as her own after the 1st Mrs. Baccala tragically died in the accident on Bloomfield ave.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: harrison

                                        Yes!! It had a layer of basil leaves in it somewhere--that's how Junior knew it was Carmella's.

                                      2. A couple of seasons ago, I did a "Sopranos" dinner, and we started with steamed clams, with white wine, garlic and tomato, and lots of Italian bread to soak up the juices. For the entree we did a traditional bolognese lasagne, and also had a veggie lasagne on the side for the vegetarians in our group. We also had a "friend" who didn't show up for the dinner, but did take a moment out of his evening to leave a fish wrapped in newspaper on the front step, just as that particular season started ;-)

                                        I think if you go with traditional Sicilian food, you will be all good.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: DanaB

                                          clams oreganata; hot antipasti,minestrone soup,lasagna, steak, veal and peppers and ricotta cheese cake for dessert--lots of red wine and sambucca and espresso-

                                          1. re: marlie202

                                            my family always had a splash of anisette in the post prandial coffee. good for the digestion my uncles would say. that would definitely be a tony thing i think.

                                        2. As i am not Italian and wouldn't even attempt some of the amazing recipes mentioned, my menu for Sunday is just playing off some of the names:

                                          "Meadow" greens with "Paulie" walnuts dressing
                                          Riga-"Tony" Pasta
                                          Sweet Ricotta topped with "Carmela" sauce
                                          chocolate dipped "Bada Bing" cherries
                                          Dirty Jersey Martinis

                                          1. "the Sopranos cookbook" is actually pretty good. from that i would recommend the lemon chicken served with baked ziti or grilled swordfish rolls served after clams oreganata. perhaps some escarole, and pasta fagiole to start. cannoli for dessert, served much later with espresso and anisette.
                                            now that's an italian-american meal.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: fara

                                              Have you made the Sunday Gravy? I have been thinking about trying it...

                                              1. re: prunefeet

                                                I did make the Sunday Gravy and it turned out pretty good.

                                            2. "Tony! The rollatine!" Carmela shouting across a room to Tony at Johnny Sac's daughter's wedding reception. She seemed pretty excited about that rollatine.

                                              1. tomdible, aside from the Sunday Gravy, what else did you have on your menu and how did it go? I'm curious because I'm planning a Sopranos dinner this Sunday for the series finale. I know I have to have gabagool for sure, but what else?

                                                Also, there are some recipes on the Sopranos website. Anyone tried any of these?



                                                  1. re: eLizard

                                                    Just got a couple of shirts I ordered from the HBO/Soprano website, that says, "What, No F***ing Ziti!?

                                                    1. re: MagnumWino

                                                      i love that scene...especially when everyone goes "whoa!" after. and i love the scene where they eat Karen Bacala's final tray of ziti posthumously.

                                                  2. Lest you forget, the drinks, whatever your preference, should be mixed as a couple of shots and a splash.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Andy Jacob

                                                      It's summer so a break from the traditional macaroni and sauce,meatball,bracciole,neckbone etc.It can be replaced with seafood such as fried shrimp and calamari ; scungilli,clams and crabs with tomato sauce hot and mild.served with linguine or my favorite ...large shells.A jug of red and maybe... maybe BACCALA (may he rest in peace) as a tribute .Then expresso and anisette.Or like the old time Sicilian's pasta cu le sardi, fresh figs and blood oranges to complete

                                                      1. re: scunge

                                                        Don't forget a couple of limoncellos to celebrate!

                                                        My grandparants were Sicilian immigrants to NY. My grandmother always served a stuffed squid dish braised in tomato sauce. Her Sunday gravy was the absolute best thing I ever tasted. Her lasagna was made with scormozza (sp) and the creamiest ricotta cheese (which I cannot ever find), She always made us eat in our t-shirts and slips and chased us with a washcloth after! Don't forget the pillow mints and the milk of magnesia! Abadonza!

                                                        1. re: scunge

                                                          the sopranos aren't sicilian, though. they're napolitan.

                                                      2. Just saw this, this morning, on the NBC Today Show:

                                                        Cannoli Siciliani