The Traditional Holiday Sauce: Il Sugo

The Ragù alla Bolognese is certainly the most famous Italian sauce in the world. But the true Italians know that there is something more special than that, a true symbol of a special day, the so called Sugo.
Sugo is a variation of the Bolognese sauce that features pieces of meat (more or less big) instead of the minced one. Another difference is related to the amount of concentrated tomato: since the sugo has usually a stronger taste, there is a bigger amount of concentrated tomato than the ragù.
But just like the ragù, the sugo has to cook for a long period of time in order to reduce the amount of water and to make the meat tender to the point that it literally melts in the mouth.

dsc_0246To make pasta for about 4 -5 people you will need:

  • One carrot, a celery stick and an onion.
  • 250 grams of meat, mixed veal and pork, cut in small cubes (gulash style)
  • 100 grams of concentrated tomato
  • 400 grams of tomato passata.
  • A glass of red (or white) wine.
  • Salt and pepper.
Add the concentrated tomato and let it melt into the sauce. You may add a bit of water if the sauce looks too dry, this will also help the concentrated tomato to melt.

At last add the tomato passata and stir all the ingredients together.

Passata is basically blended peeled tomatoes, usually quite liquid. In the supermarket you can find, in order of denseness: whole peeled tomatoes in their juice, tomato sauce in small pieces and passata.
At this point, cover the sauce and let it cook for about two hours, stirring it every now and then in order to avoid the sauce to burn at the bottom and to keep an homogeneous cooking.

At the end of this process add salt and pepper according to your taste and use the sauce for a delicious pasta (any kind works fine) or as a filling for Aranacini.

Buon appetito!

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