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Mar 8, 2014 05:47 AM

Spaghetti Caruso

So a thoughtful 'hound, seeking deliciousness, posted the following thread on the Philly Board, seeking the classic "red sauce restaurant" dish: It caught my attention.

Another kindred soul, responded, in part, with a link to the following NYT recipe:

Having used the referenced recipe, I posted the following notes:

"I do think the NY Times recipe is pretty good. I've made it a coupla times. What follows are my adjustments:

"The mushrooms can be white button, but crimini are better.

"Double the dried oregano and add 1/2 a teaspoon of dried thyme.

"Cook the livers in olive oil the first time.

"Use only one and a half tablespoons of butter, add an anchovy, and some pretty finely diced panchetta or pork fat for the second "cook".

"I put the final "mix" into a single pot and add everything to "meld" over gentle heat before serving."

* * *

The question is, do you guys have experience/thoughts on this prep? Stories of its glory? Wanna try it?

All comments are welcome. Please note, however, that extra credit will be given to anyone who can suggest a restaurant, on the 95 corridor, between DC and Hartford, that serves it in a setting to which Sinatra might have brought a mistress. Moreover, points will be deducted for anyone who links to a Google search of recipes that they have not tried.


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  1. Would it help to give extra credit for any places, existing or not, anywhere in the country that made such a great plate?

    7 Replies
    1. re: MGZ

      I'll play. Romanos in Rockaway Beach, CA. I use this recipe http://www.great-chicago-italian-reci...
      It tastes like what I remember we had at Romanos. The recipe you posted sounds great (I'm a Pierre Franey fan) but where is the red wine?

      1. re: BeefeaterRocks

        Red wine? Yes, my wife must have RED WINE for her GRAVY.

        1. re: BeefeaterRocks

          I have never had this dish. Interesting to see that they call for pale yellow livers and not the common dark red type. I have never seen pale yellow in the market. Do they taste that different?

          1. re: King of Northern Blvd

            I have never seen pale yellow either. I use common dark reds.

            1. re: BeefeaterRocks

              I have only used the red livers. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen yellow livers in a butcher/grocery. I am, however, thinking about trying the dish with turkey livers soon.

            2. re: King of Northern Blvd

              My local market always has the pale yellow ones...they are pretty large. I don't like them...I'll take dark liver any day.

            3. re: BeefeaterRocks

              I have used white wine to deglaze the pan before adding the butter, etc. It was actually a very good finished product, but "not quite" the way the dish tasted on my memory's tongue. Same thing happened when I used fresh papardelle. I would certainly do either variation again, though.

              Much obliged for the recipe link as well. Nice to keep moving this old, forgotten dish back into the purview of fellow food geeks. Maybe we'll catch the attention of enough of the Home Cooking crowd to get this one into DOTM consideration?

          2. There are so many variations on the 'condimento.' If I don't want to start World War III in my house, I never call it 'sauce.' To my wife, whose grandparents came from Petilia Policastro and Potenza, it's GRAVY. But secretly it is SAUCE to me.

            Vivi, ama, ridi e specialmente mangia bene!!!

            1. Victor Cafe in Philadelphia has it on the menu. Sinatra may well have taken a mistress or two there over the years:

              I haven't had it there lately; however, I did enjoy the Spaghetti Caruso. You might get more information from reading reviews.

              1. I've never had the Red Sauce with Chicken Livers over Pasta.....but many times with simple Butter sauce or White Wine & Butter Sauce. I recall ordering it as an appetizer @ Ralph's in Philly.