When we think of The Ramones, we think: spaghetti. You don't? You might now. Last year Marky Ramone, the last living member and former drummer of the legendary punk band, launched his own private-label pasta sauce, and he's shilling it at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills tomorrow.
Yes, every word of that last sentence is true.
Some aging rock stars turn to botox and sold-out summer tours to keep their legacy going, others turn to bottling hot sauce, tequila and wine. Ramone (nee Marc Steven Bell), turned to the marinara sauce he learned to make from his grandfather, a former chef at New York's Copa Cabana and 21 Club.
"As a little boy I would watch him cook," says Ramone. "So when I moved out of the house, the cheapest thing I knew how to make was spaghetti and sauce. I'd get my olive oil, canned tomatoes, a little bit of garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and some sugar, and whatever else I could throw into it."
Ramone tells us the key to making a great marinara is to use real Italian plum tomatoes: "It sweetens the sauce naturally and gives a little crunch from the seeds." (Yes, we talked to a Ramone about tomato sauce, and not the drums, Dee Dee, Joey, or our favorite moment in Rock 'n' Roll High School. Okay, maybe we did talk about that last one.)
Marky Ramone's Brooklyn's Own Pasta Sauce is vegetarian and gluten-free (maybe not so punk rock, but appreciated), and 10 percent of all sales goes to Autism Speaks, a charity the rocker personally supports. And since The Cheese Store's Norbert Wabnig has sanctioned it, as did the Wall Street Journal, which chose it as second best in a lineup of grocery stores sauces, and Daniel Boulud, it must be good.
Get a taste for yourself tomorrow: Ramone will be at The Cheese Store from 3 to 6 p.m. sampling the sauce. The jar retails for $8, and you can call head to reserve some. You can also find it at The Oaks Gourmet in Hollywood. And, while you're at it, check out this hilarious video: