Genovese, a typical Neapolitan dish

Genovese, a typical Neapolitan dish

Mar 29, 2023Donatella Mulvoni

Although the name is reminiscent of the Northern Liguria region, this dish made with ziti pasta and meat comes from the South, namely the Campania region.

The Genovese legend

The famous food magazine Gambero Rosso, tells the legend of Pasta alla Genovese: "The most imaginative hypotheses have been put forward to justify the name of this dish, starting with the Genovese people present in the Neapolitan port's dive bars during the Aragonese domination of the 15th century, passing through an ingenious, as much as unknown, Neapolitan gastronome nicknamed "o' Genovese," to the famous Ippolito Cavalcanti who in his 1837 cookbook reports several "Genoese-style" dishes, among which none, unfortunately, resembles a pasta sauce."

A delicious "white ragout"

It is a beloved regional specialty. This dish is a traditional onion and beef-based pasta sauce from the Campania in beautiful southern Italy. The name can fool you, thinking it is related to the city of Genova, in northern Liguria. Usually, it is cooked on Sundays because the preparation is time-consuming. Genovese is a perfect creamy ragout made with onions, beef, carrots, celery, black pepper, and a glass of wine. The pasta you will use with this sauce must be of the highest quality. With Magnifico, you will never go wrong! Our selection of pasta is the best! What shape? You can use any long, large, cylindrical pasta like ziti, rigatoni, paccheri.

The true essence of Neapolitan cuisine

Luciano Pignataro, one of Italy's best-known and most popular food journalists, has spoken extensively about Pasta alla Genovese. Pignataro is the author of one of Italy's most influential cooking blogs. "It somehow reflects in an accomplished way the true essence of Neapolitan cuisine, based not on meat but on the eternal and unfulfilled desire for meat, once a food for the rich while the poor had to make do with scraps. – he writes - A single piece of meat is used to flavor macaroni, and everyone satisfies their hunger and senses with this incredible flavor." Pignataro, then, adds: "Genovese is not just a sauce of meat and onions, but something more: it is the perfect fusion of these two ingredients that is achieved after hours and hours of slow and patient cooking. A true ritual, perhaps less celebrated than the cooking of Ragù but no less demanding." The talented journalist, then, adds a beautiful note that also concerns the poetry behind this Neapolitan dish: "Genovese is a dish of the united family, perhaps the one that no longer exists but that reassured everyone," Pignataro writes on his blog, "Its arrival at the table in a single soup tureen where everyone can draw from is really a magical ritual that every Neapolitan carries in their life from the first lunches when, as a child, they were allowed at the table, until the last possible one. It should, therefore, always be consumed with the right people."

In short, if you go to Campania and visit the beautiful Naples, the charming Salerno, or the enchanting Amalfi Coast, let yourself be tempted by a nice plate of Pasta alla Genovese. You will not regret it!

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