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Thick Meat Sauces with Ground Meats or Tomato or Both

All meat-based pasta sauces are not the same: on the one hand there are sauces such as sugo alla bolongese, made with ground beef, Neapolitan ragù, with a thick tomato sauce, or spaghetti with meatballs, and on the other there are sauces made with other meats, or even cold cuts, or with little if any tomato. Here we concentrate on the heartier sughi.

A Simple Sicilian Ragú
The classic Sicilian Ragú is a feast day dish that's tremendously involved; this is a considerably abbreviated version you can prepare when rushed, or when the sauce is to be used as an ingredient, for example with tripe.

Anthony's Pasta Sauce and Balls!
A son's tribute to his Dad: an exhaustive instructions on how to make pasta with meatballs in a tomato sauce.

Bolognese Sauce, Sugo Alla Bolognese
You may gorw old, even doddering, but if you know how to make a good sugo people will still beat a path to your door.

Dr. Stu's Sugo alla Bolognese
Sugo alla bolognese, a rich pasta sauce made primarily from ground meat, may have originated in Bologna, but has spread throughout much of central-Northern Italy, and as is the case with any popular dish, there are a great many variations. And this brings us to Dr. Stu, who has shared a number of delightful recipes over the years. Regarding Sugo alla Bolognese, he says, "How can you give a recipe for this dish without milk? Just give it a try and see what you think. You will love it."

Ossibuchi al Sugo, or: Stewed Veal Shanks with Meat Sauce
The best known Italian recipe for Ossibuchi, veal shanks, is probably ossibuchi alla milanese, which are slowly cooked, and then seasoned with a heady mixture of chopped herbs just before going to the table. One can do other things with shanks as well. Stew them with ground beef, for example, and this recipe yields an extraordinarily satiny pasta sauce, and a superb main course as well. Winter comfort food of the highest order.

Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Bucatini all'Amatriciana: This zesty pancetta and tomato sauce is commonly associated with Lazio and Rome, but is actually from the town of Amatrice, just over the border into Abruzzo.

Bucatini, and a Sausage-and-Eggplant Sauce
Bucatini, and a Sausage-and-Eggplant Sauce: The classic sauce for bucatini is all'amatriciana, a sauce that's commonly associated with Lazio and Rome though the town it's named for, Amatrice, is just over the border into Abruzzo. Here's another idea, off the back of a pasta box.

Burrina-style Rigatoni, with tomatoes, sausages and cream
Rigatoni are perfect with thick chunky sauces, which can work their way into the pieces of pasta and provide delightful flavor bursts as one chews on them. For example, Rigatoni alla Burrina, made with tomatoes, sausages, and cream. To serve 4 you'll need:

Farsumagru
Farsumagru: This is perhaps the most celebrated Sicilian meat dish; it draws its name -- farsumagru translates roughly as nonlenten -- because it contains an amazing wealth of ingredients. You'll need:

Ossibuchi with Meat Sauce: Ossibuchi al Sugo
The recipe is for veal shanks, but it also yields a fantastic meat sauce.

Leonardo Romanelli's Tortiglioni With Cabbage and Sausage
Pasta is an astonishingly variable universe. Many fall/winter recipes are slow cooking, but there are times when one has to get the meal ready sooner, and Leonardo Romanellis' tortiglioni with sausages and cabbage recipe is quite tasty, and can be prepared in the time it takes the pasta water to come to a boil.

Leonardo Romanelli's Tortiglioni With Cabbage and Sausage, Illustrated
Pasta is an astonishingly variable universe. Many fall/winter recipes are slow cooking, but there are times when one has to get the meal ready sooner, and Leonardo Romanellis' tortiglioni with sausages and cabbage recipe is quite tasty, and can be prepared in the time it takes the pasta water to come to a boil.

Ligurian Stewed Meat Sauce II: Tocco di Carne Stufato
Richer than a plain tocco, with the addition of rosemary and other herbs.

Ligurian Stewed Meat Sauce: Tocco di Carne
Rich Ligurian stewed meat in tomato sauce, which goes over the pasta.

Little Macaroni with Meat Balls -- Maccheroncini con le Polpettine
Little Macaroni with Meat Balls, or Maccheroncini con le Polpettine: Spaghetti with meatballs may be one of the quintessential Italian American dishes, but they're not common in Italy, and I've heard people say that they're not Italian at all, but rather an Italian American invention. Those who make this claim are of course wrong: I've had pasta served with tiny meatballs in Puglia, and Ada Boni gives this recipe in her Talismano di Felicità....

Little Macaroni with Meat Balls -- Maccheroncini con le Polpettine
Little Macaroni with Meat Balls, or Maccheroncini con le Polpettine: Spaghetti with meatballs may be one of the quintessential Italian American dishes, but they're not common in Italy, and I've heard people say that they're not Italian at all, but rather an Italian American invention. Those who make this claim are of course wrong: I've had pasta served with tiny meatballs in Puglia, and Ada Boni gives this recipe in her Talismano di Felicità.

Maccheroni alla Chitarra with Meatballs -- Maccheroni alla Chitarra con ...
Maccheroni alla chitarra are a specialty from the Abruzzo region, and are made by rolling a sheet of pasta slightly thicker than normal (dime-and-a-half thick) and forcing it through the chitarra, a set of closely strung strings that looks very much like the strings of a guitar; the end result is spaghetti-like pasta that is square in cross section. This recipe is also quite interesting for its use of meatballs....

Maccheroni alla Monteroduni
Caròla Francesconi was the Dean of Neapolitan food writers, and her friends were happy to share recipes with her. This particular dish, she says, was devised many years ago, perhaps by Luigi Pignatelli della Leonessa Principe di Monteroduni or a cook of his, and has been passed down in the family, with different family members making slight modifications to it.

Neapolitan Ragu': Carne al Ragu'
An elegant Neapolitan pot roast that also provides sauce for pasta.

Orecchiette with Meat Sauce, Orecchiette al Ragú
Though the recipe calls for orecchiette, the sauce will also work well with calzoncelli.

Orecchiette with Ragù -- I Rechhietédde Ch'u Suche Russe
Orecchiette with Ragù, or I Rechhietédde Ch'u Suche Russe: This is a recipe from Altamura, a town in Northwestern Puglia, and it will work well as a sauce for regular pasta, or can be used in preparing a festive timballo.

Orecchiette with Ragù -- Orecchiette col Ragù
Orecchiette with Ragù: According to Luigi Sada, this is the only long-cooked sauce made in Puglia, and has nothing to do with Ragù alla Napoletana.

Orecchiette with Veal Sauce, Orecchiette al Vitello
A southern specialty, from Puglia.

Pappardelle with Rabbit Sauce
A Tuscan classic, which gives you great pasta sauce and a stewed rabbit as a second course.

Pasta alla Rossi, with Venison
Pasta alla Rossi, with Venison: I requested that you share your favorite recipes with us. Many thanks, and keep them coming! Hi Kyle: I enjoy your writing and About Italian Guide. I represent the blend of people in the new world. My Italian (Marche) -Canadian father married my American-Hungarian mother. I married my American-Canadian-German sweetheart. My kids are therefore---you get the idea. The cuisine that emerged from that union was unique and flavorful.

Pasta with Lentils and Sausages Recipe - Pasta Con Lenticchie e Salsiccia
You might not think to combine lentils and pasta -- a rich legume and a starch -- but the combination works surprisingly well, and since lentils and pork also go very well together, adding sausage spiedini makes for a sublime one-course meal.

Pork Sauce, Sugo di Maiale
This is a rarity, an Italian recipe that calls for pancetta affumicata, which is essentially bacon. Try to select a piece of bacon that has no sugar added.

Red Sauce Revisited
Corby Kummer's passionate look at Naples's signature sauce, with detailed instructions for making it and interesting asides on tomatoes.

Sasicheddi Rolls
Sasicheddi Rolls: "One of my favorite dishes was the rolled meat my grandmother used to put in her spaghetti sauce. She called it something like sasicheddi (pronounced sa-seech-ed-eee). This was supposed to translate as "little sausage" in the Sicilian dialect (Termini Imerese)."

Spaghetti with Meatballs
The classic Italian-American spaghetti with meatballs draws from South Italian feast day traditions.

Sunday Gravy
Reminiscences of growing up in a Sicilian household interwoven with a hearty gravy recipe.

Tagliatelle with Chicken Gibblet Sauce - Tagliatelle con Sugo di Rigaglie
The sauce here is similar to that used in Vincisgrassi, though the end result is less elaborate. And, by modern standards, a little lighter on the arteries. The cooks of the Marche region traditionally divide pasta sauces into three categories: minced sauces, fake sauces, and festive sauces. Minced sauces are based on sautéed lard, seasoned with herbs and greens. Fake sauces are for daily uses, and contain no meat. Festive sauces, on the other hand, do contain meat.

Tagliatelle with Lamb Ragu, Tagliatelle con Ragu d'Agnello
Very tasty tagliatelle, just the thing for a crisp early spring day.

Tagliatelle with Mortadella -- Tagliatelle alla Mortadella
Tagliatelle with Mortadella, or Tagliatelle alla Mortadella: Mortadella, Bologna's signature cured meat, is now (Feb 2000) available in the US. It's excellent in sauce for pasta. And also quick, tasty, and easy.

Tagliatelle, and a Tomatoey Chicken Sauce
"Short bills and long tagliatelle, say the people of Bologna, knowing whereof they speak, for long bills frighten husbands, while short tagliatelle are proof of the inexperience of she who made them, and, when served, look like left overs," wrote Pellegrino Artusi, dean of the Italian gastronomes, more than a century ago. Thier classic foil is sugo alla Bolognese, a rich meat sauce. But it takes a while; here's a tasty alternative that's quicker to prepare. To serve 3-4:

The Great Feast-Day Ragù -- Gran Ragù della Festa
The Great Feast-Day Ragù, or Gran Ragù della Festa: A Sicilian festive ragù is -- often -- the reason for the festivities, according to Pino Correnti, author of Il Libro D'Oro della Cucina e Dei Vini di Sicilia. It's an occasion to gather friends and relatives around the table and enjoy maccarruni that are hand made, both for baron and plebe, with the difference that the former will enjoy the three elements of the more opulent tradition: farsumagru, purpetti, and sasizza fritta.

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