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Lighter, Mostly Tomatoless Meat Sauces Sauces for Pasta

All meat-based pasta sauces are not the same: on the one hand there are hearty sauces such as sugo alla Bolongese, Neapolitan ragù or spaghetti with meatballs, and on the other there are sauces made with other meats, or even cold cuts, and that contain little if any tomato. The best known is probably Carbonara Sauce, but there are many more.

Charcoal makers spaghetti, Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Though the Romans claim to have invented this astonishingly simple and mouth watering dish, some say it was developed by Umbrian charcoal burners. Others say it was invented as a way to use bacon and eggs bought on the black market from American service personnel during the Second World War. In any case, its one of the few dishes in which bacon...

Bigoli with Chicken Giblets, Bigoli Coi Rovinazzi
Bigoli are a thick - stranded pasta, similar in diameter to bucatini, but without the hole. They are popular in Lombardia and the Veneto, and in the Veneto are often served with chicken giblet sauce, which is tomatoless and very traditional.

Bigoli with Duck, or Bigoli Co'l'Arna
Bigoli with Duck, or Bigoli Co'l'Arna: Arna lessa e bigolo tondo, a la sera i contenta el mondo, "Boiled duck and round bigoli (thick stranded pasta), and in the evening the world's content," say the Veneti, and the proverb is especially well suited to this dish from Thiene, in the Vicentino.

Black Linguine with Quail and Garlic
This recipe is not for the weak of heart, but will be perfect on some occasions.

Bowties With Chicken and Beans in a Spicy Sauce -- Farfalle Con Pollo
This is a nice example of modern Italian cuisine -- though my mother-in-law, who is one of the finest traditional Italian cooks I know, would enjoy it, she would probably never think of preparing it herself.

Chestnut Pasta with Savoy Cabbage and Spare Ribs - Fettuccine di Castagne...
This is a winter recipe from the Val D'Aosta, and will be a rather nice one-course meal. If you cannot find chestnut flour with which to make the pasta, regular store-bought fettuccine will also work, as would whole-wheat pasta.

Ditali con L'Anatra
An interesting, easy to make pasta dish in which the pasta is cooked directly in the sauce, which happens to be duck (chicken would also work). From the folks at The Artisan.

Fettuccine alla Badessa, a Creamy Chicken Sauce for Pasta
Fettuccine alla Badessa is a rich creamy pasta sauce that's a perfect way to use up the leftovers from a roast; they're rich, but will be quite nice on a cold winter day.

Garganelli with Chicken and Fava Beans
Fava beans are one of the more unlikely signs of spring: They appear, beautiful and green in their soft pods, and in Tuscany are commonly served with fresh pecorino Toscano. But you can do other things with them, and here they feature nicely in a refreshing pasta sauce.

Pappardelle with Arugola: Pappardelle al Radicchio
Pasta with a zesty radicchio-and-prosciutto based sauce.

Penne with Prosciutto, Onions and Sage
A tasty sauce that's also quick to prepare.

Reginette, and a Pheasant Breast Sauce
Reginette, and a Pheasant Breast Sauce: Reginette are strips of pasta with wavy edges, and they're also known as Mafaldine, in honor of Princess Mafalda of Savoy. A recipe? Reginette with Pheasant Breast. Italian supermarkets generally have a selection of frozen game, including pheasant. If you cannot find pheasant breast, use the breast of Guinea hen or duck.

Rich Tajarin -- Tajarin Ricchi
Rich Tajarin, or Tajarin Ricchi: Every region of Italy has a type of pasta, and this is what one finds in the Langhe of Piemonte. The pasta are quite similar to tagliatelle but cut very finely -- the strands should be 1/12th of an inch, about 2 mm, wide. Cutting them this thin is a demonstration of skill on the part of the cook, and in the past one can be certain that every woman who frequented a kitchen (i.e. all but the wealthy) learned the art as a girl. Here's a "traditional" recipe:

Sedani Rigati with Chicken and Prunes -- Sedani Rigati con Pollo e Prugne
Sedani Rigati with Chicken and Prunes, or Sedani Rigati con Pollo e Prugne: This combination of fruit and meat may seem a little unusual now, but was fairly common in the past. Sedani rigari are similar to penne, but thinner, and in their absence penne will work fine.

Sedanini Rigati W/ Turkey-Brandy Sauce - Sedanini Rigati Con Tacchino al Brandy
Sedanini Rigati in a Turkey-Brandy Sauce -- Sedanini Rigati Con Tacchino al Brandy: Quick, tasty, and a little unusual. It will be perfect for an elegant festive meal, or, if you reduce the quantities, a romantic occasion.

Smooth-Sided Penne with Mock Carbonara Sauce
With respect to the true carbonara sauce, which is pancetta and eggs with a little cheese, this is enriched by cream and a shallot; it works quite well with smooth-sided pasta.

Spaghetti and Chicken -- Spaghetti e Pollo
Spaghetti and Chicken, or Spaghetti e Pollo: For some reason chicken isn't that common an accompaniment to pasta in Italy -- one generally encounters it as a second course, after the pasta, though Artusi presents a similar recipe from Romagna that calls for rice rather than pasta. This recipe calls for a half a chicken, weighing about 1 1/2 pounds, but you could also use an equivalent weight of chicken legs, which will all be the same size.

Spaghetti Carrettiera Style: Spaghetti alla Carrettiera
An interesting variation with pancetta and mushrooms.

Spaghetti dell'Antonia
A lively broccoli-and-pancetta based sauce.

Spaghetti to Make You Cry
A hearty red sauce with everything but the kitchen sink. Really! From the Folks at Eat Dangerously. (Warning: some might find the language used on this site offensive. They do use the F-word.)

Spaghetti with Lamb and Tropea Onions -- Spaghetti con Agnello e Cipolle di...
Tropea onions are red, and quite sweet, rather like the Vidalia onions one finds in the US, though they're smaller -- at the most a couple of inches across (5 cm). As is the case with Vidalias, the sweetness is not so much due to the cultivar of onion as the soil the onion grows in, or so I have been told, and I tend to believe it because...

Spaghetti with Speck Sauce Recipe - Spaghetti allo Speck
Speck is the Alto Adige's deftly smoked ham, and is a very nice change of pace from the more standard Italian salt-cured ham, prosciutto. It's quite nice and can be wonderful in pasta sauce.

Tagliatelle with Mushrooms and Sausages
Mushrooms and sausages are a pleasant combination; in this case you'll want mild Italian rather than hot sausages. If you don't like sausages or are out of them the sauce will also work well with pancetta, and with prosciutto, though the latter should be a combination of fat and lean, not just lean. You can also, if you want, add some chopped tomatoes (canned or sun-ripened fresh), but I find that the tomato covers the mushroom flavor.

Tajarin with the Sauce from a Roast -- Tajarin al Sugo di Arrosto
Tajarin with the Sauce from a Roast, or Tajarin al Sugo di Arrosto: Sugo di arrosto, in this case pot roast (which is also called an arrosto morto in Tuscany) is one of the classic Piemontese condiments for both flat pasta and stuffed pasta, in particular agnolotti. It's a simple preparation that provides the sauce necessary to season the pasta,...

Venetian Orsetti with Chicken -- Orsetti alla Veneta
Venetian Orsetti with Chicken, or Orsetti alla Veneta: Orsetti are a pasta shape -- teddybears -- aimed at kids, and prepared with a tasty meat salce made with chicken and tomatoes, among other things. One needn't be a kid to enjoy this, and in the absence of orsetti penne will work fine.

Vermicelli alla Campolattaro II
Vermicelli alla Campolattaro II: A recipe kindly provided to Caròla Francesconi by Count Paolo Gaetani; Don Emilio Capomazza Marquis of Campolattaro, who lived in the mid-1800s, was a charming conversationalist, cultured gentleman, Mayor of Naples, and Member of Parliament, who also found time to create three renowned pasta sauces that bear his name.

Vermicelli alla Campolattaro III
Vermicelli alla Campolattaro III: Don Emilio Capomazza Marquis of Campolattaro, who lived in the mid-1800s, was a charming conversationalist, cultured gentleman, Mayor of Naples, and Member of Parliament, who also found time to create three renowned pasta sauces that bear his name. The third, which is by far the most elaborate, and would work nicely at a banquet, perhaps, or when one wanted to impress one's guests. To serve 6:

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