Meatless ‘Sugo Finto’ (“Fake”) Pasta Sauce

posted in: Europe, Italy, Tuscany | 0
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If you have followed this blog for the past few months you’ll know I spent some time in Tuscany last December at wine estate Fattoria di Corsignano. I can’t say enough good things about this place! You can find a few of those good things in my blog post about the trip.

Here’s the dining room that greeted us each evening:

You may also remember that my friend Cyndie and I took cooking lessons at the estate. One of the dishes we learned to make was a meatless pasta sauce with red wine and tomatoes that surprised us with how good it was!

This meatless pasta sauce is named “Sugo Finto” in their cookbook, which translates as “Fake Sauce”. I’m here to tell you there is nothing fake about this sauce! It’s quick and easy and vegetarian with no animal products at all. It has a rich texture, a deep flavor and you won’t miss the meat one single bit.

Our instructor was Andreas, one of the sweetest people we’ve ever met. And wow does he cook! Here he is adding just the right amount of salt to the diced celery, carrots and onions to start off the sauce:

After that cooked down, Andreas added some red wine from the estate:

A little more cooking and then came the tomato sauce:

Here’s the finished sauce. Can you tell it’s vegetarian? Neither could our husbands at dinner. It looks like a Bolognese!

Lest you think Cyndie and I weren’t doing our share, we were stirring in between taking pictures!

The sauce was served over a pasta called Pizzicotti that we also learned how to make. It looks a lot like gnocchi but is made with flour. Andreas finished it with freshly grated Parmesan. This pasta course is so popular at Fattoria di Corsignano that they’ve named it Pizzicotti di Corsignano.

This sauce would be great over any pasta, especially something homemade like papardelle. It’s rich enough to be paired with a full-bodied red wine such as Chianti Classico or Cabernet Sauvignon. I think the only change I would make in my own kitchen is adding garlic.
Here we are toasting the meal before it started:

Aside from the personal treatment of the staff, the owners themselves were available and welcoming. Here they are, Elena and Mario, chatting us up while we enjoyed our dinner and their delicious wines:

I’m more than happy to report that, because I’ve raved about this place so much, at least one person I know has booked a family vacation there.¬† If you go, tell them I sent ya!

Here is the recipe:

Print Recipe
Pasta Sauce, Meatless (Sugo Finto)
Cuisine Italian
Cuisine Italian
  1. Finely dice carrots, celery and onions.
  2. Sauté in olive oil until the onions are translucent and everything is well cooked and tender. Add a clove of diced garlic here if you like.
  3. Add red wine and stir in salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes and cook, uncovered, for 30-45 more minutes to allow the flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
  7. Serve warm, over al dente pasta, and sprinkle with fresh-grated Parmesan.
Recipe Notes

Fresh basil leaves are a good garnish. Crusty bread and red wine are good partners!

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