Tocco (meat in tomato sauce)

This is a delicious sauce that derives its name from the fact that it is supposed to be prepared with a single piece of meat (toccu in local dialect), and this is the main difference that sets it apart from traditional ragù alla Bolognese, made with minced meat. It is perfect for serving with ravioli, but it's also excellent with mandilli de saea (traditional thin lasagne). Once the pasta has been served with the sauce, the meat and remaining sauce is an excellent second course served piping hot.


  • 1/2 kg of beef;
  • extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 spoonfuls of tomato puree;
  • 1 onion;
  • 1 stalk of celery;
  • parsley;
  • garlic;
  • 1 carrot.

Stir-fry the chopped vegetables in a large terracotta pot with extra virgin olive oil and add the piece of meat whole, browning on all sides.
Put the parsley, rosemary and pine kernels in the pot and add a little white wine until it evaporates.
Add the tomato puree diluted in a little stock. Allow to cook for at least 2 hours on low heat and with the cover on, turning the piece of meat every so often to ensure even cooking, and adding stock when needed so it doesn’t become dry.

The recipes are taken from the guide “Dining in Genoa”, by M&R Comunicazione, available at the Tourist Information Offices