When people think of Pasta Genovese, they immediately imagine a pesto-based pasta sauce, coming from the city of Genova.
However, few are familiar with the Pasta Genovese we prepare in Naples. This is a completely different type of sauce that involves cooking beef with onions for an extended period of time, that not only draws out the taste of the meat, but also combines the caramelized flavor of the onions together with the rest of the ingredients, making for a delicious, hearty meal.
The chef who created this Neapolitan version, was originally from Genova, hence the name. Dating back to around the 1600’s, this recipe was simpler, involving only onions and meat. However, towards the mid 1800’s, the recipe became slightly more complex, gaining additional ingredients such as carrots, celery, bay leaves, wine etc… But as holds true to Italian cuisine, every FAMILY has their own recipe, and may add things here and there. That is the beauty of the Italian family traditions.
In the following recipe, I decided to substitute the regular beef we’d use in our Neapolitan Genovese sauce with a fatty and aromatic salami, that adds even more flavor to this already robust dish. By replacing the beef, salami provides all the salt needed for the sauce, as well as an air-cured meatiness that will have your mouth-watering from the moment you pop the lid!
100 gr salami cacciatore (diced)
500 gr sliced onion
100 gr carrots (diced)
100 gr Grana Padano cheese
400 gr rigatoni pasta
½ cup white wine
70 ml pure olive oil
20 ml extra virgin olive oil
5.25 l water
50 g salt
3 bay leaves
- Sautée carrots in 50 ml of olive oil on medium heat for around 5 mins and then add the onions, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Add the salami and sautée for around 2 mins, then add the wine and 150 ml of water. Simmer over lowest heat and cover, cooking for 3 hours.
- Then add the laurel leaf, plus another 150 ml water and cook for another hour.
- When sauce is almost finished, start to boil 5 l of water together with 50 g of salt. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the rigatoni pasta and boil for the time indicated on the package.
- Strain the pasta and add to the sauce, and add 60 gr of Grana Padano cheese and mix well until combined over low heat, just until the cheese is melted.
- Add another 20 ml of pure oil, mix well and serve onto plates.
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top of each plate of pasta, together with remaining Grana Padano and black pepper.
Watch the video recipe & Buon Appetito!!