Preparation - Medium; Prep: 15, Cook: 60
2 - 3 Cups
This is said to be 'fake' sugo because it has no meat in it, but in fact I've never heard of a recipe that doesn't call for just a bit of carne secca, dried meat, in the form of
prosciutto or pancetta, thus proving that Tuscans are such confirmed meat-eaters that even their vegetarian preparations are unthinkable without a little meat. You could leave the meat out and increase the amount of olive oil, but then you wouldn't have a sugo finto so much as a sugo vegetariano.
Skillet, pasta pot, sieve.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, including leafy top, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 oz prosciutto or pancetta finely diced, or another 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2(1-pound) cans peeled tomatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 T slivered fresh basil
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat, gently sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and parsley in the olive oil until the vegetables are soft but not brown.
- Stir in the prosciutto or pancetta, if using, turn the heat to medium-high, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the meat dice just begin to brown.
- Add the white wine and cook vigorously until the alcohol has evaporated and the wine has reduced to a couple of tablespoons.
- Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice, and add the tomatoes to the saucepan.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 45 minutes, crushing the tomatoes with a spoon as they cook down and adding a little of the reserved liquid if the sauce gets too dry.
- At the end of the cooking time, you should have a thick and fragrant sauce.
- Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Away from the heat, stir in the basil.
- Serve immediately as a sauce for gnocchi, polenta, or any kind of pasta.
Note: This sauce freezes well; if you freeze it, omit the basil, adding it only when ready to serve.