With those words former studio head Robert Evans explained how director Francis Ford Coppola came to helm The Godfather. Spaghetti, as Evans foresaw, played an important role in the film, as the scene where Clemenza makes sauce remains a classic. It’s also such an essential part of American dining that our nation celebrates National Spaghetti Day, a fact that allows us to forget that January is National Oatmeal Month.
If you want to smell the spaghetti some more, open up Simone Cinotto‘s release The Italian American Table, a popular UIP dish (“It’s the best in the city”) that follows the winding yet delicious strand of angel hair that linked food and family. Cinotto does nothing less than recreate the bustling world of Italian life in New York City. Along the way he demonstrates how food was at the center of the lives of immigrants and their children, shows how these people created a food culture most of us cannot live without, and ponders the parts played by food production, preparation, and consumption in immigrant communities.
Once you finish Cinotto’s book, why not add to your experience by holding a film festival informed by two more of our books? Jeff Menne‘s Francis Ford Coppola, explores how Sofia’s dad attempted a new way of filmmaking, while Hollywood’s Italian American Filmmakers gives film scholar Jonathan J. Cavallero room to examine how Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarentino, and other filmic pezzonovantes related to their ethnicity in their works.