By Laura Medina
When Marc Bell moved out of his parents' home at eighteen years-old, one of the few, trusty things he took with him was his grandfather's top-tier, classy marinara pasta sauce as a survival gear.
Asking why pasta sauce, he replied, "Well, we musicians gotta eat." Explaining his grandfather's pasta was the perfect go-to sauce for anything. Whether it was back in the days as a traveling drummer before becoming a Ramone with The Ramones, surviving on classic
spaghetti pomodoro or fast-forwarding to today, where college students smear the sauce on bagel pizzas, Marky's grandfather's pasta sauce recipe is as timeless and classic as The Ramones' songs and their all-black attire.
In bottling his grandfather's pasta sauce, it is his way of keeping his grandfather's legacy alive and share it with future, emerging, and current rockers.
His grandfather was a chef, ten years at the 21 Club then twenty years at the Copacabana Club where he personally cooked for Jackie Gleason, a steak no more than a certain inch thick.
Marky recounts growing up as a boy, watching his grandpa stir and stew that sauce...and it helped him survive as a struggling drummer to being a Ramone then now, as a Sirus Radio show host. Just like the Ramones' songs in describing his grandpa's sauce, "Technology change but people stay the same."
In spite of memorizing his beloved grandfather's recipe to heart, Marky Ramone had to taste-test the sauce during a six-months trial period before launching it into the market. Sometimes, it was too sugary. The other times, it was too spicy, too hot, too garlicky, until it was well-balanced and just right.
Back in the days as a struggling drummer, he couldn't afford the best ingredients. He can only buy whatever was in his budget at that time.
Now, as an established musician and rock star, he can afford to put out his grandfather's sauce in its best foot forward, using plum tomatos and extra-virgin olive oil imported from Italy. Doing grandpa proud, the Wall Street Journal voted this as the second-best pasta sauce in the United States.
Why Whole Foods? Simply stated, "I like Whole Foods." Straight-forward, honest, but sweet...just like his sauce.
This is not a purely commercial endeavor. Ten percent of the net profits go to Autism Speaks. Hearing about all these horror stories about autistic kids being beaten up, The Ramones always speak up for the outcasts and he wants to educate people what it autism is all about.
Regardless if it is the hard-core rock fans, rock families, conventional families or one or two celebrities grocery-shopping, Marky Ramone is always there educating folks about his grandpa, the sauce, and autism.
On this average Sunday afternoon, celebrities in the neighborhood were pleasantly surprised to see Marky. First, a Suicide Girl happily posed with her rock idol then Debi Mazar just popped up for her family's groceries.
From there, she greeted her old friend from the neighorhood then asked him if he can guest star on her cooking show, "Extra Virgin" on the Cooking Channel. Stay tune folks, Marky Ramone is in Italy now and nothing is set.
Suicide Girl then Debi Mazar with Marky Ramone.
Now, what to do with the pasta sauce. Other than topping it on pasta, pizza crust, and bagels or using it as a dipping sauce for his favorite pretzel rods. Here is one simple breakfast recipe.
Top it on spinach. Stew them. Then, crack an egg and poach it. This a simple but gourmet way to have breakfast. Shoot, cook it longer, it will be an omelet.
From Brooklyn to West Hollywood, from being a struggling drummer to being a rock star, Marky Ramone and his Pasta Sauce never fails. Like the black tee-shirt and black jeans, this is the new rocker survival gear-Marky Ramone's Marinara Pasta Sauce.