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Sugo bugiardo for the poor farmers

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

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

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.



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.