Throw an Oscar Night Party

This is a recipe for Benjamin Button Pasta Sauce that you can include if you decide to throw an Oscar party!

Party Planning

Throw an Oscar Night Party

Benjamin Button pasta sauce anyone?

-Francine Segan

The OscarsIf you’re like millions of film fans, on Sunday, you’ll tune in to the Academy Awards ceremony. But why watch the festivities alone? Instead, invite a few movie-loving friends to enjoy the red carpet scene with you. Oscar night is a great excuse to give a party.

An Oscar Night Party is easy to host. The entertainment is simple. Just keep the TV tuned into the merriment all night, raising or lowering the volume at your favorite spots. The rest of the party planning is straightforward too. Your favorite flicks can inspire the food and drink.

You might theme the evening’s meal after SlumDog Millionaire and serve take-out Indian food, or go with classic ‘70s hors d’oeuvres and a martini tasting for Frost/Nixon or just dish out bowls of mustard and oven-hot pretzels for The Wrestler! Or try this fabulous pasta sauce, which I call, “Benjamin Button‘s It Only Gets Better With Age Pasta Sauce.” It keeps for days in the fridge, so you can make it ahead.

Happy Oscars!

Benjamin Button’s It Only Gets Better With Age Pasta Sauce

Serves 6


5 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1 pound ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
2 large eggs
1/2 medium onion, finely minced
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fennel seed, slightly crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


1. Tear the bread into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of water and allow to stand for a few minutes, until the water is absorbed. Squeeze out any excess.

2. Add the beef, pork, egg, onion, Parmesan, parsley, fennel, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mix until just combined.

3. Form meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter (you should get about 13).

4. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides, turning as necessary, about 3 minutes per side. Reserve.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 large onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 twenty-eight ounce can tomato puree
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fennel, slightly crushed
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 pound spaghetti
Parmesan cheese, grated


1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, sugar, parsley, fennel and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.

3. Cook for 5 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and then gently submerge the meatballs and the meatball pan juices into the sauce. Cover and cook for 50 minutes. Cool and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

4. When you’re ready to eat, just heat the sauce and cook the pasta. Serve topped with Parmesan.

For another great Oscar night recipe, click here.

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