La Genovese {recipe}

This entry is part 13 of 31 in the series My Italian Kitchen


La Genovese is another quintessential Neapolitan pasta sauce. Its name, Genevose, is misleading. It is not actually a recipe that comes from Genova (I’ll be sharing that one tomorrow). According to my favorite cookbook (I’ll be sharing that in a few days), it is the “second most sacred dish to the Neapolitan cuisine.”

This is another dish that requires time and patience. You need to dedicate a block of time and your attention to it. It has no tomato in it at all, but you’d better like onions…

La Genovese


  • 2 lbs onions
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • stew meat (can be either beef or pork)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • salt
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups water


Begin by thinly slicing the onion. You may want to put on some glasses to protect your eyes! MAN that’s a lot of onions!


Finely chop the carrot and celery. Pour the olive oil into pan and heat on medium. Put everything into the pot. I put the meat in first, layer the onions on top, then the celery/carrots and then sprinkle salt on top. Cover and let it begin to cook.

GenoveseKeep an eye on it so to be sure it doesn’t dry out. The onions will begin to sweat, releasing their liquid. The volume will begin to go down.


Continue to cook, stirring frequently as the liquid begins to evaporate. The onions will really begin to break down.

When it starts to get too dry, “pull” the sauce by adding a little wine at a time, stirring as you go. The onion and the meat will start to turn golden.

GenoveseWhen you’ve used up all the wine, add a cup of water, taste for salt, cover and let it braise another while longer. When most, but not all of the liquid has evaporated, and the onions are almost unrecognizable, your sauce is ready to serve.


I love it on penne, sprinkled with some good Parmesan cheese. It also makes a great second course served with some sides.

CAUTION: This can give some people terrible gas. I do not recommend eating it before a trip where you will be confined in a vehicle or airplane with other people. You have been warned.genovese

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About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!

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