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5 from 9 votes

Genovese Sauce - La Genovese Napoletana

Genovese Sauce or La Genovese Napoletana is an incredibly delicious sauce made with a ton of slow cooked onions, beef and white wine. Although it takes time to simmer slowly into the most rich and luscious pasta sauce you'll ever taste it doesn't require much attention and is super simple to make!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 - 8 servings
Calories: 226kcal
Author: Emily Wyper


  • 4 large yellow onions finely sliced *see notes (1 kg)
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 celery stock finely chopped
  • 1.3 lbs beef chuck roast or stewing beef cut into medium-large chunks or left whole *see notes for end results (600g)
  • ½ cup white wine 120ml
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup fresh parsley roughly chopped (a small handful)
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • frsehly grated parmesan for serving


  • Prepare all the vegetables (see notes on cutting the onions) and sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.
  • Add the olive oil to a large pot on a medium-low heat and add the onions, carrot and celery. Saute the onions for 10 minutes then add the beef, bay and parsley.
  • Let the beef brown on all sides, you’ll need to stir the mixture around slightly so the beef touches the bottom of the pot.
  • Cover the pot and let it slowly cook for 3 hours stirring every now and then to make sure it doesn’t stick.
  • After 3 hours remove the lid and add the white wine. Continue to simmer the ragu on a medium-low heat for another hour.
  • Once done taste and add more salt to taste then toss with cooked and drained pasta of choice.



There are two ways to serve this sauce; one way is as directed above where the beef falls apart and becomes part of the sauce or you can choose to keep the beef whole and serve that seperatly as a second course. See the directions below.
  1. Brown the whole piece of beef first on all sides then remove and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, carrot and celery and saute for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the beef back to the pot with herbs and cook covered for 3 hours turning the beef halfway through.
  4. After 3 hours remove the beef and keep warm.
  5. Add the wine to the onion and cook uncovered for 1 hour, serve with pasta.
  6. Slice the beef and serve as a second course with your choice of sides and a little onion sauce on top.
  7. Italian roasted potatoes, green beans or sauted greens would be perfect sides alongside the beef!

Extra Tips

  • This sauce pretty much cooks itself after the initial prep work you just need to make sure you stir it every so often to make sure it's not sticking and keep it on a medium-low heat.
  • There's no need to add liquid at the first stage of cooking because the onions release a lot of water so don't be tempted to add any extra.
  • You can toss this sauce with any pasta you like so choose your favourite just make sure to toss the pasta and sauce together thoroughly before serving.
  • Leftover sauce will keep well for around 3-4 days in the fridge or can be frozen and thawed as needed.


Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 609mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4015IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg