Friday, April 17, 2015

Classic Genovese Italian Pasta Sauce Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Cook this delicious sauce low & slow...

Classic Genovese Pasta Sauce.

Genovese sauce served over pasta.
This is an hearty, meaty, onion-based pasta sauce that is famous in Campania Italy.

I used beef chuck, a good flavored, inexpensive cut of meat. The low and slow cooking process makes the beef very tender. The long cooking also softens the onions and brings out their flavor. This sauce is naturally low carb, gluten free, and sugar free.

This sauce reminds me of a hearty beef stew and French onion soup, combined. My family prefers this sauce over buttered rice. I also like it quite well over buttered pasta that has been cooked al dente. Bigger, chunkier pasta holds up best with this sauce, and it's fun to eat too. Serve over buttered pasta like Pacchieri, Candele, or Ziti. Choose gluten free pasta if desired.

Sauce Genovese Recipe:

1/4 pound bacon, diced small
2 pounds Beef chuck, cut into large cubes
4 pounds onions (4 or 5 onions), halved then quartered and sliced very thin
1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
2 ribs celery, with leaves, diced small
6 large cloves garlic, smashed
2 large bay leaves
2 to 3 sprigs fresh marjoram, optional
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 c. cooking white wine
Fresh minced parsley for garnishing
Parmesan cheese for garnishing
Diced fresh tomatoes for garnishing, optional


In a large dutch oven, over med-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and set aside.
In the dutch oven with the bacon fat, brown the cubed beef in two batches. Brown well on all sides.
Remove the chuck from dutch oven and set aside.
Place the diced carrot, celery, and garlic into the dutch oven and cook 4 minutes, with stirring.
Put the chuck back into the dutch oven along with the bacon and bay leaves. Stir together.
Top with the fresh marjoram sprigs, if using.
Pack the finely slivered onions on top and season generously with salt and pepper.
Place the lid on the dutch oven and turn the heat down to a simmer.
Simmer at least 3 hours, or until the beef is fall-apart tender (you may instead bake in a low oven).
Add the cooking wine and continue cooking with the lid off about 30 more minutes, to reduce juices.
Break up and mash the meat well to make a thick saucy consistency. I like to use a potato masher.
Taste for salt and adjust as needed.
Serve over buttered brown rice, or buttered gluten-free large pasta.

If you choose to serve this over pasta, cook 1 pound of pasta in water that has been salted so that it tastes as salty as sea water. Save 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Add 2-3 T butter to the cooked pasta and stir until melted. Add a couple cups of meat sauce and a little of the starchy pasta water to bind the sauce and stir. Serve topped with more meat sauce.

Photos of the process:

Cook the bacon until crisp.

Cut the beef chuck into large cubes.

Brown the chuck in the bacon fat and then set aside.

Prep the vegetables while the beef is browning.

Add the vegetables to the dutch oven.

Cook the vegetables a few minutes to soften.

Add the bacon and bay leaves and stir.

Add the browned chuck to the vegetables.

Stir the meat and the vegetables together.

Top with the slivered onions.

Season with salt and pepper.
Turn the heat down to a simmer and place the lid on the dutch oven.

Simmer about 3 hours (low & slow).

Add wine and mash the mixture well.

The mashed beef mixture.

Taste for salt.

Serve over hot buttered pasta or buttered rice, garnish with parsley and serve.