Another of the many Italian dishes in the cucina povera tradition, sugo finto is “fake” because it is basically a meat sauce (sugo di carne) without the meat that was so unaffordable for most people not too far in the past. (It is also called sugo scappato, or ‘escaped’ sauce, for the same reason.) Today we enjoy sugo finto less because it’s economical and more because it’s also really good eating.
And simple. The typical flavor base of finely chopped aromatic vegetables is enhanced with fresh herbs, then doused with red wine before the tomatoes are added and simmered for 30 minutes or so, long enough so it reduces into a rich, thick sauce. Sugo finto is extremely versatile. It goes with just about any pasta, and has a place at the table any time of year, made with fresh tomatoes in the summer months, canned or hothouse ones the rest of the year.
- 1 medium or 1 large onion, preferably red
- 1 medium stalk celery
- 1 medium carrot
- A spring of fresh parsley, sage and rosemary
- A splash of red wine
- 1/2 large can, or 400g (14 oz) fresh, tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil