Rigatoni alla Genovese Recipe

Rigatoni alla Genovese

Rigatoni alla Genovese is a traditional Italian pasta dish that originated from the city of Genoa. It is a rich and flavorful dish that combines tender bite-sized pieces of beef with caramelized onions and a slow-cooked tomato sauce. The name “Genovese” refers to the region where the recipe comes from, as well as one of the main ingredients used – Genovese onions.

The dish is typically made by first browning the beef in a pan to develop a deep flavor. Then, the onions are slowly caramelized until they become soft and golden brown. The beef and onions are then combined with a tomato-based sauce and cooked slowly for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together. The sauce is typically seasoned with a combination of herbs and spices, such as bay leaves, thyme, and oregano, which add a savory and aromatic element to the dish. The final step is to toss the cooked rigatoni pasta in the sauce, allowing it to absorb all the flavors before serving.


The key ingredients needed to make Rigatoni alla Genovese are:

  1. Rigatoni pasta: This type of pasta is best suited for this dish as its large and ridged shape helps trap the sauce.
  2. Beef: A tender cut of beef, such as chuck or brisket, is traditionally used in the Genovese sauce.
  3. Onions: The star ingredient of the Genovese sauce, a large amount of thinly sliced onions are caramelized to create a rich and sweet flavor.
  4. Carrots and celery: These vegetables add depth to the sauce and help balance the sweetness of the onions.
  5. White wine: A splash of white wine is added to deglaze the pan and add acidity to the sauce.
  6. Tomato paste: A small amount of tomato paste adds a touch of acidity and richness to the sauce.
  7. Beef broth: Beef broth is used to cook the beef and create a flavorful base for the sauce.
  8. Butter: A knob of butter is added at the end to enrich and smooth out the sauce.
  9. Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is sprinkled on top of the cooked pasta and sauce for added flavor.

These ingredients come together to create a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy dinner.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Rigatoni alla Genovese

Preparing Rigatoni alla Genovese is a delicious and hearty dish that originates from Genoa, Italy. This pasta recipe combines rigatoni pasta with a rich and flavorful meat sauce. To make this dish, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add diced pancetta, chopped onion, and crushed garlic cloves. Cook until the pancetta is crispy and the onions are caramelized.
  2. Add ground beef to the pot and cook until it is browned and cooked through. Stir in tomato paste, beef broth, and red wine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water.
  4. Add the cooked rigatoni to the meat sauce and toss well to coat the pasta. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved cooking water to thin it out. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the pasta to absorb the flavors of the sauce.
  5. Serve the Rigatoni alla Genovese hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves.

Enjoy this delicious Italian classic dish! It is a perfect comfort food for a cozy dinner.

Tips from professional chefs for cooking Rigatoni alla Genovese

Here are some expert tips from professional chefs to help you prepare the perfect Rigatoni alla Genovese:

  1. Choose the right pasta: Rigatoni works best for this dish as its ridges and hollow shape allow the sauce to cling to it. Look for high-quality, durum wheat rigatoni for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Slow cook the onions: The key to a rich and flavorful Genovese sauce is caramelizing the onions. Take your time and cook the onions slowly over low heat until they are soft, sweet, and golden brown. This process can take up to 2 hours, but it’s worth the wait for the depth of flavor it adds to the dish.
  3. Experiment with the herbs: While the traditional Genovese sauce calls for just basil and a bay leaf, you can get creative with the herbs you use. Try adding a sprig of thyme, oregano, or parsley to enhance the flavor profile of the dish.

Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning as you go, as the flavors can intensify during the cooking process. Serve this comforting and hearty dish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a true taste of Genoa.


The Rigatoni alla Genovese is an absolutely delightful dish that I recently had the pleasure of preparing. The recipe, originating from Genoa, Italy, combines the hearty texture of rigatoni pasta with the rich flavors of onions, beef, and tomatoes. The dish requires a longer cooking time, but the end result is well worth the wait.

To start, I caramelized a generous amount of sliced onions in olive oil over low heat. This slow cooking process allows the onions to develop a deep, sweet flavor that perfectly complements the other ingredients. Next, I added the beef, which I had previously seared to seal in the juices. The combination of tender beef and caramelized onions creates a wonderful depth of flavor.

Once the beef and onions were cooked to perfection, I added a can of tomatoes, along with some fresh basil and a pinch of oregano. I let the sauce simmer for a couple of hours, allowing all the flavors to meld together. The aroma that filled my kitchen was incredible, and I couldn’t wait to dig in.

When it was time to serve, I cooked the rigatoni pasta until al dente and then tossed it with the fragrant Genovese sauce. The sauce coated each pasta tube perfectly, ensuring a burst of flavor in every bite. The rigatoni pasta was an excellent choice for this dish, as its ridges held onto the sauce beautifully.

The Rigatoni alla Genovese was a hit with my family and friends. The combination of beef, caramelized onions, and flavorful tomato sauce created a harmonious and satisfying meal. I highly recommend trying this recipe for a comforting and delicious pasta dish that will transport you straight to Italy.

The Rigatoni alla Genovese is an absolute delight to prepare and enjoy. As a cooking enthusiast, I couldn’t resist the temptation to try out this traditional Genoese recipe. The dish itself is a perfect combination of simplicity and complex flavors.

To start off, I carefully followed the recipe, ensuring that I caramelized the onions to perfection. The slow-cooked onions release a sweet and savory aroma that fills the entire kitchen, creating an incredible anticipation for the final result. The addition of beef adds a meaty richness to the dish, making it perfect for meat lovers.

As I mixed in the rigatoni pasta with the long-simmered sauce, the flavors melded together beautifully. The pasta became coated in the rich sauce, allowing every bite to be bursting with the flavors of caramelized onions and tender beef. The rigatoni pasta was the perfect choice for this dish, as its ridges and hollow shape captured the sauce, creating a delightful texture and ensuring that every bite had the perfect amount of sauce.

The Rigatoni alla Genovese is a true culinary delight, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a comforting and hearty Italian dish. The combination of slow-cooked onions, tender beef, and the perfectly cooked rigatoni pasta is a match made in heaven. Whether you’re a fan of Italian cuisine or simply looking to try something new, this recipe is a winner. I cannot wait to make it again and share it with my family and friends.

I recently tried the “Rigatoni alla Genovese” recipe and it was absolutely fabulous! The combination of rigatoni pasta, tender beef, caramelized onions, and deliciously rich tomato sauce was out of this world. The flavors were perfectly balanced and every bite was a delight.

First, I want to talk about the pasta itself. The rigatoni was cooked al dente and held up beautifully to the heafty meat sauce. Its large, tube-like shape allowed the sauce to cling to every nook and cranny, ensuring that every bite was packed with flavor. The pasta was the perfect vehicle for the delicious sauce, and I found myself going back for seconds (and maybe even thirds!).

The star of the dish, though, was definitely the Genovese sauce. The beef was incredibly tender and practically melted in my mouth. It had been cooked low and slow, allowing the flavors to develop and deepen. The caramelized onions added a touch of sweetness to the sauce, while the tomatoes gave it a tangy complexity. I could really taste the care and attention that went into making this sauce, and it took the dish to a whole new level.

All in all, I highly recommend trying the “Rigatoni alla Genovese” recipe. It’s a comforting and flavorful dish that will impress even the most discerning of palates. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or for a crowd, this recipe is a winner. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Add a comment