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Sugo finto or “fake meat sauce”

First courses

The "sugo finto" or, more appropriately fake ragu or fake meat sauce, is a tomato sauce enriched with lot of vegetables or soffritto that have been sauteed in a pan with a glass of red wine. It is called this way because it looks like ragu (or sugo as meat sauce is also known in Tuscany) but it is, indeed, meatless. The recipe belongs to the poor peasant tradition when meat (beef, veal and chicken) was a rare and special ingredient. This pasta sauce is sometimes also known as sugo scappato, implying that something had ‘escaped’ from the pot (like the meat!).   


  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 250g of extra virgin olive oil
  • tomato paste
  • salt
  • pepper
  • a half a glass of red wine
  • 1 small red pepper
  • A pinch of mixed spices for roasts


Follow these steps:

Chop the vegetables and fry them in extra virgin olive oil

When they are brown, add half a glass of red wine and let it evaporate

Add the two tablespoons of tomato paste

Season with salt and pepper,

Cook for about 40-50 minutes until the liquid reduces

Dress your pasta and …buon appetito!