Genovese Red Sauce

TOTAL TIME: 3 hr 35 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: 10 min
Cook: 3 hr 15 min
YIELD: 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 4 ounce chunk pancetta or guanciale, 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 ounces prosciutto cotto or mild ham, fine dice
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground veal
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A few grates of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle, such as Delverde brand
  • Freshly grated grana padano cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano
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Heat the EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and render until it begins to crisp, then add the ham and stir a minute or 2 more. Add the veal and break it up into fine crumbles, until lightly brown. Then add the garlic, bay leaf and onions, and season with salt and pepper and a little nutmeg. Let the onions cook, partially covered, for a few minutes, then stir in the tomato paste until fragrant. Add the wine and heat. Then add the milk, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently 3 hours. Add a little stock or water whenever the sauce gets too thick, up to 2 cups over the course of the cooking time. Cool and refrigerate or freeze for make-ahead meal.

To serve, boil the pasta in salted water to al dente; reserve 1 cup starchy cooking water just before draining. Add to the sauce, toss with the pasta and some cheese and serve in shallow bowls.



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