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Film Released: 1990

Genre:  Biography  Crime  Drama

Film Directed by:   Martin Scorsese

Cast/Actors include:   Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

This is the first film featured in this section which isn't directly about food. However, the preparation of food does feature a number of time, in particular in a prison scene where, amazingly, the inmates are allowed to cook their own meals.


Goodfellas is based on a true story about a small time gangster, Henry Hill played by Ray Liotta, who works his way up through  the mob with his two unstable friends played by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Unfortunately, his cohorts' violent and erratic behaviour lands him in all sorts of trouble  throughout the film, culminating in him turning state evidence.


Although this is a pretty violent film throughout, it is interspersed with some scenes showing "another side" of these particular mobsters including their love of good food.  Possibly the most talked about is in the prison scene where one of the mobsters prepares the garlic for a dish by slicing it wafer thin ..... with a razor blade. His theory is that it will just liquefy and disperse evenly into the dish.


However we've decided to feature a specific recipe which is actually mentioned by Ray Liotta right at the end of the film once he's testified against his gangster friends and is on the witness protection scheme.  After a life of relative excitement and privilege amongst his circle he says:-


"Today everything is different; there's no action... have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food - right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. "


Well Ray, here's a traditional  Marinara Sauce recipe for you. Enjoy!




Marinara Sauce for Pasta   Veg  HT  MC  Italian  40mins


The name Marinara comes from the Italian word for sailor, marinaro. Although there is a school of thought which says that marinara sauce must contain something from the sea, this isn't the case, as the origins of marinara sauce are that it was made in Naples for the sailors when they returned from their voyages. It's actually a very simple sauce....but delicious! Use the best quality Italian olive oil and tomatoes to get the best flavour.


Serves 6   Hot  Vegetarian  Vegan  Vegetables  Herbs  Main Course  Gluten Wheat Dairy Free  Eggless  Italy  Mediterranean  Europe

60ml/2fl.oz. Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, quartered
800g/28oz Tinned Italian Tomatoes, chopped

240ml/8fl.oz. Water
4 Fresh Basil Leaves,  chopped
1 teasp freshly chopped Oregano
Salt  and Black Pepper



1. Place garlic and olive oil in large saucepan then turn on the heat to medium and cook until garlic is soft and lightly browned.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until thickened.  Serve hot over pasta.


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