Monday, March 21, 2011


 Giancana Standing tall at 5'3"

Born 1908 in one of Chicago's armpit neighborhoods, Salvatore Gilorma "Momo" Sam Giangana (sp. changed) entered the world inauspiciously. His sadistic father continuously beat him bloody from age 6 until a teen when he threatened to kill Papa G if he ever laid a hand on Sam again. Sam made his way up the ladder of the Chicago mob machine  and graduated into a lifetime of murder and mayhem becoming legendary in the world of crime, entertainment and politics. Nicknamed Momo  (it was purported in the underworld that someone suggested Momo was short for more money) or "Mooney" because Sam was crazy as la luna howling at the moon as a kid.

In his 67 years, Momo crossed paths with celebrities, kings, presidents, dictators, the CIA and the Shah of Iran. He bedded down the most gorgeous women - Monroe, Phyllis McGuire, Judith Campbell Exner and plenty of puttanas. Giancana once boasted to JFK who along with baby bro Bobby, that he had carried on a two-year plus affair with Marilyn and was the last one to play hide the salami with her before her death. 
Monroe - Sam Liked It Hot

The Rat Pack

The Kennedy Boys

"Outfit" boss Sam Giancana was the one who orchestrated the infamous Valentine's Day Massacre. He was a ruthless murderer who rose to power through brute force, killing most of those who got in his way. 

Momo bought it on June 19,1975 with a bullet to the back of the head and six more 22 caliber slugs pumped into his mouth and under his chin while frying up some sausage and peppers in his basement kitchen. There was no sign of a break in suggesting to the feds that it was someone Giancana knew. Speculation was that it could've been John "Johnny Handsome" Roselli on orders of Joseph "Joey Doves" Auippa, head of the Outfit, that Sam's testimony might divulge too much info about the "Big O."
Was It the Gun or the Gas
from Those Beans?
Sam was about to testify at a senate hearing about his part in a botched assassination attempt on Castro. Allegedly Sam was recruited by the CIA to snuff out the Cuban dictator around 1960.                          

Close But No Cigar

Giancana supposedly delivered the key votes in Illinois and W. Virginia to get JFK elected president. It has been said that old man Kennedy did everything in his power to have his son in the White House including turning to the Mafia.


1-1/2 half lbs. Italian sausage
3-4 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh escarole
1 can Great Northern beans/chi chi beans (chick peas or garbanzo beans, with juice
1 or 2 chili peppers
3-4 T. dry white wine/dry white vermouth
grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Prep the scarola washing thoroughly and removing stems and thick veins. Do not try to bypass this step as you risk having a wiseguy show up in your kitchen ripping out your veins and puncturing your jugular just to send a message! Add olive oil to a hot skillet and brown the sausages on both sides. Cast iron skillets are the best to cook with and they are multi-purpose. Besides lasting beyond a lifetime, when swung around with a good back-handed follow through, you can nail your assailant in the chops deflecting his bullets and rendering the goon stunad and powerless. They infuse your cooking with more flavor and give you a healthy dose of much-needed iron for those especially difficult 'jobs.'
Be sure not to prick sausages with a fork (tongs work well) while turning as it will let out the juices and you could find that fork jammed into your hand Luca Brasi style and your prick in the pan! Remove the sausage and add garlic. Sauté but don't brown. Ideal color is clear. Add the sausage back in along with the beans and their juice, and let cook on medium-high for about 5 minutes. Lower temperature to medium-low, add the greens and cover, simmering for about 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in the pepper and wine. Let it simmer a minute or two, and then serve in bowls with grated cheese on top. A must - don't fuggedabout some warm, crusty Italian bread to sop up all the tasty juices.

*Escarole isn't always easy to find in which case Swiss chard or spinach can be substituted. Any white bean, such as cannellini, navy beans or garbanzos will work, as long as the juice isn't overly sweet. Chili peppers can easily be replaced with red pepper flakes or left out altogether. Top with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese(salty. Never grate before serving as it dries out the cheese - a big mistake which could find you with your knuckles grated instead of the cheese. Keep hunk of cheese wrapped in a damp cheese cloth in a plastic container so as not to stink up your fridge.

Prep time is less than a 1/2 hour and you only dirty one pan. Good Italian cooks never measure - they cook by taste. Don't forget the dish towel bib so you don't get that nice baby blue velour jogging suit dirty!

Mangia, mangia and may this not be your last meal!

*Recipe is from Andrew Huff at Gapers Bloc who reprinted it from a New Yorker Magazine article (date unknown)from Sam's oldest daughter, Antoinette. She suggests a Valpolicella wine. Hint: Make sure it's the Valpolicella Classico.
Mafia Speak Glossary

scarola: - moo-la, $$$

stunad: - stoo-nod dazed and confused; stupid

puttana: poo-tah-na - whoah; whore; ho

Fact: yes, even Giancana was 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon
                        Giancana Bedded Monroe
                 Monroe and Eli Wallach in The Misfits
                   Wallach and Bacon in Mystic River
All content of  "Dining with the Don" except for credited photos and links are original works copyrighted by Mafia Cook. No portion may be copied or reprinted without permission of the author.


Sewcountrychick said...

This sounds good even without the colorful history! I guess you don't have to be good looking to be a playboy.

Rita Stafford said...

Fantastick! seconds please.