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Genoese pasta: the original recipe with the typical Neapolitan ragù

Pasta Alla Genovese

Here is Genoese pasta, the Neapolitan recipe for a first course rich in taste and aromas!

Today we are talking about a marvel , one of those dishes that you would never want to end: it is Genoese pasta, and it is a typical first course of the Neapolitan tradition. Let's say that if in Emilia they have Bolognese ragù, in Neapolitan culture they have this sauce, which is nothing more than a white ragù prepared with lots and lots of white onion!

Let's talk about ingredients, then: in addition to the onion, beef is used. For the cuts you can ask the butcher, but if you want maximum yield with minimum expense, we recommend the bell and the cover , which are perfect for this recipe! The cooking times are long, but trust me, it will be worth it!

In short, are you ready to find out how Genoese sauce is made? Then follow us!

Pasta Alla Genovese
Pasta Alla Genovese

How to make Genoese Neapolitan pasta

  1. Finely chop the celery and carrot, then peel all the onions and cut into strips . Don't worry too much about the cut, given the cooking time they will melt, creating a sort of puree .
  2. Place the celery and carrot in a pan with the oil and cook for 2 minutes , then add the onion.
  3. Leave to cook for a few minutes, then add the meat in medium-large pieces, salt and pepper and add the parsley and bay leaves tied with string so that they do not disperse in the pan.
  4. Leave to cook on low heat with the lid on for about 2 hours , stirring occasionally. There should be no need to add water as the onion will naturally release its juices.
  5. Once this time has passed, the meat will be so soft that you can shred it with a fork or spoon. Do this with part of the meat, remove the bunch of herbs and then put it back on the heat and cook for another 1 hour on a low flame.
  6. While it is cooking, add 1 glass of white wine which you will let evaporate and then proceed with the second one.
  7. Even after the third hour the meat will be almost completely frayed and the onion practically melted.
  8. Then cook the pasta in salted water and then sauté it with the sauce in a pan.
  9. Stir in some grated cheese to taste and finally serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy your meal!
Read also
How to make Bolognese ragù: the original recipe!


You can store the sauce in the fridge for about 3-4 days , preferably in a container with a lid. If you used all fresh ingredients you can also freeze it in the freezer.

The origin of Genoese pasta

Although the name is misleading, this pasta is not a traditional Ligurian dish, but as we have seen, a Neapolitan one. There are several theories on the name, among the most accredited are those of Genoese chefs who prepared this pasta in the port. In any case, it seems to be dated around the second half of the 19th century.

Like any recipe, this one too has undergone changes over time . There are those who add a few cherry tomatoes , those who use lard in cooking to give flavour, and even those who put celery and carrot in the sauté.

For this dish, then, ziti should be used, a delicious pasta which is packaged as long pasta, but which must be broken into the dish before being added, as tradition dictates. In any case, we advise you to use a short pasta to maximize this fantastic sauce.

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