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Make me a dinner I can't refuse...

By mid-February, I've played all the games in my game closet, tried every recipe for butternut squash, and become a bit too good at Farmville. My Friday nights need a serious shake-up. I need a little intrigue, a little murder. Yes, it's time to watch The Godfather. This iconic film is a must-see for even the most casual movie watcher, and if the party is a hit you can always follow up with parts two and three.

But before settling down to a little heart-pounding violence, I like to serve this Sicilian themed menu. In the movie, the Don himself, Vito Corleone, comes straight from the heart of Sicily, and I'd like to think even he would approve of the authentic flavors of these dishes. Bada-bing!

Games to Play

Mafia is a party game where players are secretly assigned to roles as either a townsperson or a member of the mafia. During the course of the game, the townspeople try to root out the mafia while the mafia try to kill off the townspeople. The game is easy to master and requires nothing but group participation. The rules can be found here.

The Menu

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For an appetizer, fry up some panelle, or chickpea fritters. Serve with an olive tapenade, these street-style snacks pair perfectly with a glass of Sicilian wine. Get the recipe »

What wine should you choose? Sicily produces a number of quality wines, but my top choice for this meat-centric menu would be one made from Nero d'Avola grapes. Either alone or blended, they produce hearty red wines with bold, red fruit flavors often compared to Syrah.

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For the main course, it's all about Sicilian ingredients: meatballs studded with pine nuts and raisins are simmered in a hearty pork ragù. Get the recipe »

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I like to serve the 'balls with an orange, olive, and onion salad. It's refreshing, seasonal, and showcases Sicily's trademark citrus fruits.

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Sicilians are known for their sweet tooth, so don't forget dessert! Either stop at your local bakery or make these pistachio cookies: they're nutty, buttery, and can be made a day ahead. Get the recipe »

About the author: Carrie Vasios is a born and raised New Yorker with a penchant for good jam. When she's not throwing or constructing menus for dinner parties, she writes Less is Morbier.

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