Pasta alla Genovese

While the name suggests this dish originated in Genoa, it is actually a specialty of Naples and the origin of the name remains a bit of a mystery. There are many variations, with the common theme being beef and onions–lots of onions! This recipe cuts up the beef and leaves it as an integral part of the sauce, while other recipes have you cooking the beef as a single roast which is then removed from the sauce and served separately.  It’s a very rich dish and goes well with one of the larger tubular pastas such as rigatoni, ziti, or penne. This is modified from a NY Times recipe.

4-1/2 lb red onions
2 lb boneless chuck roast
1/4 lb pancetta or not-too-smoky bacon
2 carrots and 1 celery rib, diced
1/2 c dry white wine such as pinot grigio
1/2 c olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb pasta of your choice (see above)

Peel the onions and cook in a large pot of simmering water for 12-15 minutes. Drain, cool, and slice thinly. Discard the water.

Cut the meat into approximately 2-inch pieces. Pat dry with paper towels and brown in a heavy bottomed Dutch over medium high heat using 2 TB of the oil. Do this in 2 batches if necessary. Remove meat and set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add the pancetta and stir for a moment. then add the carrots and celery and stir or a few more minutes. Return the meat to the pan, cover with the onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle the wine and remaining oil over all. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook slowly for about 2 hours. Remove the lid, there will be a good deal of liquid that was released by the onions. Raise the heat and continue cooking, stirring as needed to prevent sticking. The goal is to cook off most of the liquid; the meat will be falling apart and the onions will reduce to an almost creamy consistency. Check for seasoning. Cook the pasta, drain, and toss with the sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Explore posts in the same categories: Beef, Ethnic, Pasta

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