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Pasta alla Genovese

Pasta alla Genovese

The temperature at 8:00 am this morning was 8 degrees in Manhattan and baby that’s cold outside when you’re walking to work!  I’ve been posting a lot of vegetarian pasta recipes lately but today calls for a heartier dish.  It would make a delicious  meal this evening BUT only if you’re home from work early or are lucky enough to be home all day.  If that’s the case, this is more of weekend dish because of the amount of time required.  This recipe is decidedly different from some other versions I’ve come across.  Perhaps I’ll post another incarnation tomorrow.

INGREDIENTS:

4 1/4 lb. red onions

1/3 cup EV olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 celery rib, trimmed and roughly chopped

1/4 lb bacon or pancetta

2 1/4 lb beef chuck, cut into 2 inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup dry white wine, plus more if desired

1 lb pasta like ziti, rigatoni or tortiglioni

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Bring large pot of water to a boil.  Place the onions in the boiling water, and cook, covered, 15 minutes.  Drain the onions, and let cool a bit, then slice very thinly.

Heat half the oil in a large heavy pot (braising pan) over medium heat; stir in the carrots, celery and bacon, and cook 4 minutes.  Add the beef, then cover with the onions.  Pour the remaining oil over the onions, then sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp pepper.  cover, bring to a simmer and cook gently until the beef is tender, about 2 hours;  the onions will release a good deal of liquid.

Uncover the pot and bring to a boil.  Cook, stirring more frequently as the liquid reduces and lowering the heat as necessary to prevent scorching, until the meat has fallen apart and the sauce is creamy, about 45 minutes.  Stir in the white wine and taste, adding more wine if desired.  Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook stirring frequently, until the sauce is glossy and quite thick, about 15 minutes more.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and toss with the sauce.  Stir in Parmesan to taste, then serve.

Recipe by Mark Bittman NY Times

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