Curiously, genovese sauce does not come from Genoa, regardless of what the name might suggest, but it is one of the oldest and most traditional Neapolitan dishes. It is a succulent, slow cooked meat sauce (a fine cut of beef, pork or veal) which provides both the first and second course and is usually cooked for a Sunday lunch when diners have a healthy appetite. This dense, creamy, amber-coloured onion sauce is served with largish pasta (rigatoni, maltagliati, mezzanelli, or ziti broken into shorter lengths by hand) while the meat is sliced and served with a green salad. Mystery surrounds the name of the recipe, which is not found anywhere in the regional cookery books of Genoa and Liguria, and has been the topic of much speculation by food historians. Some claim it comes from the surname of the cook who invented it, others suggest it was a frequent item on the menu of the traditionally penny-pinching Genoese community resident in Naples.
1.5 kg of onions
1 kg piece of beef, pork or veal
1 stick of celery
2 peeled tinned tomatoe
sknob of butter
two glasses of white wine
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Chop the onions finely and dice the carrot and celery. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and fry the onions carrot and celery slowly for 5-10 minutes. Add the meat and cook over a moderate heat for about one hour. Add salt and pepper to taste and the two tomatoes, if desired. Stir from time to time and turn the meat. Add a little of the wine at a time as the sauce becomes drier and cook on a low heat for another 40 minutes. When the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and leave to cool before slicing; cook the pasta and mix it with the genovese sauce, then add grated parmesan cheese. Serve the meat as the second course.