Chef Gabe Thompson reinvents the much-loved tagliatelle topper at his New York restaurants L'Artusi and dell'anima, skipping whole tomatoes completely and using only a teaspoon of tomato paste—which caramelizes slightly, adding a hint of sweetness.

Serves 4 to 6


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound pancetta, cut into a small dice
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • ¼ pound chicken livers, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup celery, finely diced
  • ¼ cup carrot, finely diced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Sachet of 1 bay leaf, 1 thyme sprig and 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound tagliatelle pasta
  • Large pinch of red chili flakes
  • 2-3 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan


In a large sauté pan with high sides, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta. Cook until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crispy. Remove the pancetta and set aside.

Add another Tbsp. of olive oil to the pan. Add the pork, veal and chicken livers. Cook until brown. Season generously with salt and pepper. Remove meat and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil. Cook the onions, carrots and celery until slightly caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste is slightly caramelized too. Add the pancetta, browned meat, and the sachet to the vegetable mixture. Add the white wine and cook until the liquid has completely evaporated. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates too much and the ragu starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little more water and continue cooking.

Add the heavy cream. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the water. The water should taste like the sea. Add the pasta to the water and cook until just under al dente.

If the ragu has cooled, reheat it in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat.

When the pasta is ready, add to the sauce. Add the chili flakes, butter, and half of the grated cheese. Toss together and let the pasta simmer in the ragu for 1-2 minutes. If the pasta sauce is too thick, add a little pasta cooking liquid. If the ragu is too thin, add a little more cheese and continue cooking the sauce.

Served with the remaining grated Parmesan on top.


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