The proverb says <<virtue out of necessity>> and also <<farmers have big shoes and sharp brains>>, the sugo bugiardo dressing born in the poor countryside demonstrates it
The sugo bugiardo or “pretend” was made by the poorer Tuscan families who could not buy meat to put in their sauce and had studied a recipe that resembled the traditional one but, in reality was made with pork and vegetables.
Up until fifty years ago the harder summer jobs, like reaping and threshing regarded an “exchange in labour” among the Tuscan farming families. In other words people went to help their relatives or neighbours with one or two people and got the same help back. Naturally a large number of hungry people had to be fed and this meant two or three lunches, with antipasto, broth, pasta, and meat in a stew, roasts and a dessert.
Not everyone could buy beef so the vegetable garden was of upmost importance. The poorer dressing was born form this necessity. It is a very tasty sauce that seems a regular ragu but in truth is not because it contains only some salted rigatino and in some cases is all vegetarian.
INGREDIENTS OF THE SUGO BUGIARDO
1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 celery stick, extra virgin olive oil, 200 g of white beans, 200 g of salted pork rigatino, 600 g of ripe tomatoes, half a glass of white wine, salt and pepper sage, garlic, peperoncino and aged pecorino.
PREPARATION OF THE SUGO BUGIARDO
Parboil the tomatoes and peel them. Cook the diced garlic in the extra virgin olive oil and add the roughly chopped tomato salt pepper and peperoncino. Cook over a low flame until the sauce thickens.
Boil the beans in salted water. Clean the onions, celery, carrots, sage and chop by hand. Stir fry with extra virgin olive oil over a moderate flame. When they are nearly dry, add the rigatino diced very small and continue to cook basting with white wine. For those who want a totally vegetarian it is possible to omit the rigatino that is in the original version.
So the liquid has absorbed, add the tomatoes sauce and the beans after having poured away the cooking water, adding salt and pepper. Proceed with the slow cooking for about an hour making sure it does not stick.
HOW TO SERVE AND WHAT TO MATCH WITH SUGO BUGIARDO
Dress homemade Pappardelle with the sugo bugiardo sauce or even pinci. Match the dish with Chianti Superiore or a young Doc Orcia such as the Leone Rosso from Fattoria del Colle.