Pasta Genovese

Simple Food
2 min readDec 31, 2021
Pasta Genovese

Not from Genova! I came across this fantastic southern Italian ragù by serendipity and it is just amazing. It is a beef and onion pasta sauce. As usual, there are many versions but this one is the last of all my trials and based on my personal recollection of local tastes and what seems closer to a local experience.

This ragu is typically served with pasta.


  • 1 pound of stew meat (cut in 1.5 cm to 2 cm squares)
  • 1.5 to 2 pounds yellow onion. I prefer sweet onions. Julienne thinly
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped Parsley
  • 1 carrot — finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick — finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pasta: either Rigatoni or for a more classic dish, long Ziti (difficult to find in US). I typically use Rigatoni.


Pour a small mount of olive oil into a deep pot. I suggest a Dutch Oven or similar pot.

Add the chopped carrot and celery. Cook at low fire for 5 minutes. Remove and keep aside. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Brown at low fire all sides. Add the carrot and celery. Add the onion to cover the meat, add the bay leaf and Parsley. Add s small amount of salt and pepper on top of the onion.

Cover and cook in simmer for 3 hours. Do not mix the meat with the onions. Just let it cook.

At 3 hours, uncover and add the white wine. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour uncovered at simmer to low fire.

After boiling the pasta on salty water, either mix the meat with the pasta and serve or top the pasta with the meat. Add additional liquid from the ragu, olive oil to taste and parmesan cheese.

For wine, as usual, whatever you like but I think a good Nero d’Avola, Etna Rosso, or a Greco di Tufo (white).