- a blog about food and value

Recipe: Films that make you feast

Eat up, or get whacked!

Eat up, or get whacked!

I was completely hooked to ‘Masterchef’ when it was on BBC and it kind of controlled my life for a while, as sad as that sounds. Due to unstoppable snacking, I had to arrange my dinner around the show and make sure I would either be eating while it was on or have dinner afterwards.

Once I started watching, I would be famished and have the cravings of a small pregnant bear. Everything looked so damn delicious that raiding the fridge was inevitable so choreographing meal times was a must.

Well, I got caught out big style when I was watching ‘Goodfellas’ last night. I’ve seen this great movie many times but just didn’t quite appreciate the film’s ability to stir up your food imagination and make you want to do a course in Italian cooking.

I resisted temptation when watching a couple of wise guys in prison fashioning an amazing looking dish out of contraband but the scene where Joe Pesci’s Mother fixes meatballs for Pesci and Ray Liotta was just too much to take – there I was concocting a pasta sauce out of fridge remnants.

Well, it turns out that I can actually sample the real dishes from the movie. The Director, Martin Scorsese, had his Mother cook all the onscreen food, play the part of Pesci’s Mum and all the recipes are in a book called ‘The Scorsese Family Cookbook’. This is the meatball recipe from that very scene:

What are your film nominees for best food scene and what show gives you the munchies?

Scorsese Meatballs:


  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 400g cans whole tomatoes
  • 946ml passata or tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 170g tomato paste
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled
1 potato, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons each minced fresh basil and parsley leaves, or 1 tablespoon each dried, crumbled
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs, stale bread
  • 170g each ground pork, veal and beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons each minced fresh basil and parsley leaves, or 1 1/2 tablespoon each dried, crumbled


  1. In a large saucepan or casserole set over moderate heat, cook the onion in the oil, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  2. In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes and sauce. Add the tomato mixture to the pan along with the water, tomato paste, garlic, carrots, potato, basil, parsley and salt and cayenne. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, soak the breadcrumbs in the milk until softened.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumb mixture with the meat, egg, Parmesan, basil, parsley, salt, cayenne, and 1/2 cup of the sauce. Add the meat to the sauce, shredding it and dropping it in a little at a time. Simmer the sauce, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Before serving remove the garlic cloves, carrots and potato.


  1. I cant watch Waitress without having a M&S Cherry Pie available. Burp.

  2. Remember to slice the garlic with a razor until its paper thin 🙂

  3. Babette’s feast is a must see for food lovers

  4. + 1 for Babette’s Feast, and also Like Water for Chocolate

  5. use too many onions and you’ll stink the joint out 😀

  6. Try ‘Dinner Rush’ for a look behind the scenes of a New York eatery. Great movie and makes me want to be back in a commercial kitchen every time I watch it!