Pasta Alla Genovese - Juicy Onions & Beef Sauce Pasta

Origin of the dish: Italy

Pasta alla genovese meaning "in the style of Genoa". This pasta dish is not to be confused with pasta al pesto from Genoa.

It is an iconic pasta sauce of Naples and yet it is little known outside the city itself.

There are different theories on its origin but the most common one is that this sauce may have been introduced in Naples by Genovese immigrants and merchants, during the Renaissance period.

Ingredients for 2 people

  • 2 onions

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 stalk of celery

  •  250 gr (0.5 lbs) beef for stewing

  • 1/2 glass of white wine

  • Salt and pepper

  • Olive oil

  • 200 gr (0,5 pounds/lbs) of short pasta


  1. Slice very thinly the onions and chop finely the carrot and the stalk of celery.

  2. Cover the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and stir in the onion, the carrot and the celery for 3 minutes. Then add the beef previously cut in 4/5 pieces, along with the white wine. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Cover and allow this mixture to simmer over very low heat for about 3 hours. Uncover the pot and stir from time to time, adding a bit of water to avoid the sauce to stick to the pot. After 3 hours, the onions and beef will be well reduced and tender into a creamy sauce.

  4. Choose a short kind of pasta, like ziti, rigatoni, paccheri or penne. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and toss with the sauce. Serve with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.

The playlist

Here is my Italian playlist, and related to this recipe, I have added some newest and less recents souds from Naples.

Press the play button and enjoy it while cooking your Pasta alla genovese!

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