Recipe courtesy of Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos

"Fake" Sauce

"This sauce originated with farmers who wanted the body and heartiness of a meaty red sauce but couldn't afford the meat," Gabriele says.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 red onion, roughly chopped 1 carrot, roughly chopped

2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

1/3 cup red wine

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound orecchiette or medium shells, cooked until al dente

Shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is soft and golden, just before caramelization.
  2. Add the red wine and stir well. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer 5 minutes, or until the pungent smell of alcohol is gone.
  3. Add the tomatoes and break them down roughly with a wooden spoon. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and cook over low heat 30 to 40 minutes, until the sauce thickens and the flavors blend. Toss with just-cooked pasta and serve with shredded parmigiano cheese.
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