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Penne Pasta with Genovese Sauce Recipe

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 45 mins
Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 - 8 servings


  • ¼ pound bacon chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 1 rib celery trimmed and chopped
  • pounds beef chuck cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 4 pounds red onions thinly sliced
  • cup olive oil extra virgin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound dried penne pasta
  • Parmesan cheese freshly grated


  • Start by prepping all the ingredients. It's called mise en place and one of the most important steps many home cooks skip (including myself) but should not.
  • Heat up a large sauce pot over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon and let it cook for a few minutes to render the fat.
  • Add the the carrots & celery and lower the heat to medium.
  • Cook for another 4 or 5 minutes, add the beef, then cook for an additional couple of minutes.
  • Cover the beef with the onions, add the oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover the pan and bring the ingredients to a simmer. The onions will release a ton of liquid creating a nice simmering liquid. Cook for 2 to 3 hours until the beef is nice and tender.
  • Uncover the pot, turn up the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a boil.
    Be sure to stir often to prevent burning. You may have to adjust the heat from medium-high to medium and back again if the pan gets too hot.
    This goes on for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the meat falls apart and the sauce becomes creamy. It also means you have to stay close and not walk away from stove.
    (Start thinking about bringing a large pot of water to boil to cook the pasta.)
  • Add the wine and give the sauce a stir.
  • Lower the heat to low and let the sauce cook for another 10 - 15 minutes until the sauce thickens to a desired consistency.
    Again, be sure to stir often to keep the sauce from burning.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and combine with sauce in 1 of 3 ways:
    1. Add the sauce directly to the pot of sauce and gently toss to combine.
    2. Add the sauce to a large serving bowl, add the pasta and again, gently toss to combine.
    3. Add individual servings of pasta to bowls and top with some sauce.
  • Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
    I like to bring some extra cheese to the table for those who want to add a little more to their dish.


Al dente translates to “to the tooth” or “to the bite,” and it means that the pasta should still provide some resistance instead of being completely soft all the way through.