If you didn’t have a love affair with Italian food before, watching Paulie Cicero (played by Paul Sorvino) and his mob family in the 1990 blockbuster Goodfellas cook dinner in prison would have been enough to start. Seeing Sorvino slice through garlic with a razor blade “so thin that it used to liquify in the pan with just a little oil”, as narrator Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) tells it, was mesmerizing. The visuals and the description made our mouths water.
After 27 years of salivating over Sorvino’s sauce, it’s about time he grace us with the gift of his cooking know-how through an Italian cookbook.
Pinot, Pasta, and Parties (Available April 18, 2017; $30) is Paul’s first cookbook, created in efforts with wife, Emmy Award Winning TV and radio host, Dee Dee Sorvino.
“We wanted to share our recipes, experiences, and a glimpse into our happy life together,” they write in the foreword. “Each chapter focuses on an aspect of our lives that make us who we are together, the chapters tell our story.”
Sorvino has been preparing foods in the kitchen since the age of 12, and Dee Dee shares in his love of cooking, but each have their respective roles.
Paul turns out sumptuous Italian feasts, and Dee Dee is the chief of style, menus, and fun cocktails. “Planning a party — whether a romantic evening for the two of us, an intimate dinner party with close friends, or a buffet for a bigger crowd — gets us going,” said Dee Dee.
Their love of food and entertaining skills are legendary among their circle of friends and colleagues. They received so many requests for recipes, the couple was inspired to share their knowledge in a more permeant collection available to everyone.
Starting with the basics, they cover all the Italian go-tos from meatballs to marinara. The “We Love NY” chapter pays homage to Italian festival street food which would not be complete without the recipes for a Sausage Hero and Eggs in Purgatory. In the “La La Land” chapter, the focus is on wholesome and light foods such as Swordfish with Olives; Pear, Watercress, and Gorgonzola Salad; and Orange Polenta Cupcakes. “Sing for Your Supper” is the ultimate menu for an elegant dinner party complete with classics like Veal Piccata and Linguini con Vongoli. And, you cannot have a Sorvino cookbook without a nod to Goodfellas! The feast fit for a boss features Lasagna Mama, Porchetta, and Zabaglione with Fresh Berries.
Paul and Dee Dee have it right: The best way to celebrate or try to solve the world’s problems is with a good glass of wine and a bountiful meal.