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Sugo di Carne

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 6
Total Time 4½ hours


This dish is so popular at Portland’s Caffe Mingo that the recipe is printed out on small cards at the restaurant, anticipating requests. It’s a wonderful thing to make on the weekend when you’re around the house and then reheat during the week for dinner.


2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 lb. beef bottom round
~ Salt and pepper
2 medium red onions, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 bottle (3 cups) red wine
6 oz. brewed espresso
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
lb. penne pasta
~ Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof pot, heat the olive oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper, transfer it to the pot, and cook over medium-high heat until browned on both sides.
  2. Add the red onions and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add the remaining ingredients (except the pasta and Parmesan), cover, and cook in a 475-degree oven for 3 to 4 hours, checking the meat after 2 hours and replenishing the liquid if necessary (use water or broth). Continue cooking, covered, until the meat is fork-tender.
  3. Remove the beef from the pan. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat and return to the sauce to reheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and toss with the meat sauce. Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are 3 comments on this item
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33% recommend this recipe
1. by Kim on Nov 3, 2008 at 4:45 PM PST

I tasted a dish that was similar to this one at Serratto recently; the orange gremolata was just right with it.

2. by Honest Day on Mar 31, 2009 at 6:18 AM PDT

Thank you for the sugo di carne recipe - I’ve inadvertently made something quite similar, but the addition of the espresso makes a lot of sense in terms of being a nice blending the flavors of the caramelized beef and the wine. I have a question: does Culinate have any cookbook plans of its own? You’ve become a trusted source of reliable, inspired advice.

3. by Ricardo on Jun 2, 2010 at 5:10 PM PDT

LOL! This is an old recipe with some variants or not in Argentina and Uruguay it is the base for all pasta dishes locally known as Tuco in other parts of South America may be called carne mechada but not the Mexican style. In fact many South Americnas do not know what chilli tastes like.
BTW since Argenntina welcomed thousands of Italians since 1820 now Argentina boast something like 50% population of Italian descent.

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