A Celebration Of The Most Iconic Food Scenes In 'The Sopranos'
'The Sopranos' finale aired 12 years ago, but we're still thinking about one of the show's most prominent characters -- food!
There's not a single episode of the New Jersey mafia drama that doesn't include someone chowing down on some braciole (stuffed beef rolls), manicotti (pasta stuffed with ricotta), baked ziti (a pasta bake with sausage) or a sandwich from the crew's pork store, Satriale's.
And often, food takes centre stage and becomes a deliciously important plot point amidst all the murder, bribery and racketeering.
We decided to take a tasty walk down memory lane and look back at some of the dishes featured on 'The Sopranos' that deserved a culinary Emmy Award.
Carmela's Bribery Pie
Carmela Soprano was way ahead of the college admissions scandal when she attempted to get daughter Meadow into Georgetown University at any cost.
But unlike the alleged scams recently employed by Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, Carmela had some more delicious tricks up her sleeve, baking a ricotta pie with pineapples to nudge alumna Joan Cusamano into signing a letter of recommendation for Miss Meadow.
The Tell-Tale Pizza Order
Never leave the remnants of a customised pizza at the scene of the crime -- it’s something that Anthony Soprano Jr learned the hard way after trashing the school pool with a few friends (including a teenage Lady Gaga!)
When the cops arrive -- pizza box in hand -- to hunt for clues they learn from the restaurant owner that it was a “custom job” and Anthony Jr. was given away by his regular hankering for double meatball, sauce, pepperoni, peppers and onion pie.
Where's The Spaghetti And Tomato Sauce?
Pauly gets all the way to Italy, keen to reconnect to the motherland but quickly finds that there's a big difference between Italian-American food and they stuff they actually serve in Italy. Sadly moving his clams with squid ink linguini around his plate, Pauly asks the waiter for some real Italian food.
“Can I just get some macaroni and gravy?” he asks.
Carmela Throwing Away An Entire Pot Of Penne Out Of Spite
A Carmela scorned is a Carmela that will think nothing of throwing away an entire casserole dish of pasta because she's been DISRESPECTED. She finally snaps at Father Phil for being a moocher who pursues “spiritually thirsty women” for their hospitality.
Bobby Baccalieri's Dead Wife's Ziti
When Bobby Bacala's wife Karen dies in a tragic road accident, he has one important remnant of his wife's memory sitting in the freezer -- her famous ziti, a pasta bake with sausage and tomato that’s eaten a lot on ‘The Sopranos’. Tony’s sister Janice is trying to stake her claim on widower Bobby and pretty much forces him to eat the meal with her in an effort to make him move on from mourning his dead wife. Savage.
Meadow Soprano’s Airborne Pane di Casa
There are almost as many funeral scenes in ‘The Sopranos’ as there are food scenes, and sometimes the two intersect because there’s a lot of well-catered wakes on the show. Meadow gets plastered after Jackie Jr.’s funeral -- a family friend turned boyfriend -- and proceeds to act out because of her underlying suspicions about her family’s involvement in Jackie Jr’s death.
Her great-uncle Corrado was the easiest target as he sang a Neapolitan ballad -- with Meadow picking up some hunks of bread and pelting them across the restaurant at Uncle Ju.
Artie Bucco’s Grandfather’s Rabbit Recipe
This Season 6 episode -- ‘Luxury Lounge’ -- sees Artie Bucco finally reconnect with his joy of cooking. The chef has had a rough trot because of his association with Tony Soprano and in this episode, his restaurant is losing money, he’s been accused of credit card fraud and he gets into two pretty bad bust-ups with Benny Fazio, leaving him with a black eye and his hand in a cast.
But when a couple enters his restaurant after service, he’s forced to put together a meal with whatever he has on hand, cooking rabbit with a recipe from his grandfather’s treasured handwritten kitchen notebook.
Those Onion Rings At The Diner
It’s not an Italian dish, but it’s the last plate of food we see the Soprano family eating as they sit in a diner and Tony puts Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” on the jukebox. We’ll never know what the family was going to order for their main meals because (spoilers!) as Meadow opens the restaurant door and Tony looks up, the screen goes black in the divisive finale that left the viewers to assume that’s when our anti-hero finally gets whacked.
Main Image: HBO.