A reader emailed a question to me this morning. “Some time ago, you wrote a column about watching The Godfather and making a certain complicated dish. . . You [also] wrote of having the opportunity to cook that same dish for Francis Ford Coppola and he was most favorably impressed. Would you please remind me of the name of that Italian dish and where I could find the recipe?’
I am more than happy to answer. Indeed, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, in part because there’s so much talk these days about using the whole animal and the dish Vince is thinking of, Gudene, requires two or three rectangles of pig skin.
You can think of Gudene as gilded spaghetti and meatballs. The pig skins are stuffed, rolled, tied and seared and then simmered for hours in tomato sauce. There’s also meatballs and Italian sausages.
Gudene is a big production and not something you can decide to throw together on a weeknight after work. I recommend taking a weekend to do it and suggest you invite a crowd, as this is big food and a lot of it. If you watch all three Godfather movies (the original ones, not the long one that has been pieced together chronologically), it will be a memorable–and delicious–weekend. And what to drink during this extravaganza? Something from Coppola Winery, of course. I recommend Rosso, a light accessible table wine that sells for about $12 a bottle. It has just the characteristics–including a light, refreshing quality on the palate–that this rich dish welcomes. Too heavy a wine would make the whole thing a bit ponderous; too light a wine would be lost amidst the food’s big flavors.
You can read Gudene and ‘The Godfather” here. The recipe for Venera’s Gudene appears at the end of the column.
I like to serve Sicilian Orange Salad before the Gudene and although you don’t really need a recipe for this dish of peeled and sliced oranges with olive oil and black pepper, you can read about it in a Seasonal Pantry column from last January.