Penne Strascicate (Meat Sauce)

1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped fine
  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Parmigiano cheese, grated

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  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and then the celery, carrots, and onion. Saute until golden.
  2. Add the meat and cook until lightly browned. Add the wine and allow to absorb. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook for 45 minutes.
  4. Next, add the beef stock to the tomatoes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne until very al dente (3 minutes less than the package recommends). Drain and add to the tomatoes. Over high heat, finish cooking the pasta in the sauce for about a minute, or until some of the sauce is absorbed.
  6. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano.

Ed's Review

What a drag, man. What a drag. I use this expression a lot, as if I'm living in 1973. This week, I got stuck on a winding road behind a slow-moving Prius driver talking on a cell phone. "What a drag," I thought.  And then a day later, I was almost hit by some biker speeding the wrong way down Hudson Street. What a drag.  And then yesterday I got elbowed by an aggressive blonde wearing yoga pants vying for the check out line at Whole Foods. What a drag. Oblivious people are such a drag.

Yes, life is full of drags. But sometimes the drags can be good. For example, take this week's penne strasciacate. Typical of Florence, the pasta is cooked very al dente in the normal boiling water and then is "dragged" (from strasciacare) through the sauce where it finishes cooking and absorbs more of the sauce's flavors.

Man, this is a real drag.  In a good way.

Buon Appetito!

Edwin Garrubbo

4 thoughts on “Penne Strascicate (Meat Sauce)”

  1. Hey again Ed:

    Love your recipes. Your website is one of the first places I check when deciding on what to make for dinner.

    Made this last night. Had one question: Add the beef stock after the sauce has simmered? Not before? I added the stock before, and everything came out well. Could you explain/clarify?

    Thanks so much.


    • Good question. Either way. The recipe says towards the end, but it could go in with the tomatoes. Thanks for reading!


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