The "Pasta alla Genovese" is a specialty of the Italian Region of Campania. Its name means "Pasta Genovese-style" and, although Genova is in another region, the name derives from the family who first created this recipe, who was from Genova.
Beware that the sauce will require at least two hours of slow cooking, as it will have to be smooth and creamy. You can speed up the process by using a pressure cooker, but I personally like to use the normal pots.
- 500 g of durum wheat pasta. Rigatoni are recommended.
- 1 kg of onions
- 800 g of veal or beef. It will have to be cut in dices, so you can buy diced beef, if you like.
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Celery stalk
- 1 Glass of White Wine
- 800 ml of water or, if you prefer a more savoury taste, vegetable stock
- Pecorino cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- A sharp knife
- A chopping board
- A large saucepan for the sauce
- A large pot for the pasta
- Remove the outer layers from the onions and cut them in thin slices.
- Peel and chop the carrots. Don't chop them too finely, they will get soft anyway.
- Chop the celery (also not too fine). If you prefer, you can peel the back of the celery stalk to remove the "strings" typicall found on this vegetable. It's not crucial, though, as the long cooking will make them soft.
- If you are using a single piece of veal/beef, cut it in dices. If you bought diced beef, skip to next step.
- In a large pot, stir fry the carrot and the celery in olive oil, on medium heat.
- Add the meat, stir well and cook it until golden brown.
- Lower the heat, add the onions and mix the sauce for a couple of minutes.
- Add the white wine and keep stirring until the wine is evaporated.
- Cover with water (or vegetable stock, if you prefer).
- Add some salt and cover with a lid.
- Cook at low heat for two hours, stirring from time to time. Don't forget to add some salt, if needed.
- Cook the pasta in salted water as you would do normally.
- Drain the pasta and add it in the sauce.
- Add some freshly ground black pepper and some grated Pecorino cheese. Stir everything thoroughly.
- Serve the pasta topped up with freshly grated Pecorino, and enjoy!
If you don't have Pecorino, you can use Parmesan. It would be a little less "traditional", but the taste will be great anyway!