The origin of this Neapolitan dish is still a mystery. It is a purée of the sweetest onions, cooked until browned and very soft, and flavoured with meat. One legend links the sauce to the chefs of the Genovese merchants living in Naples during the 16th century. When the merchants returned to Genoa, some of their chefs remained in Naples, selling food to the public. The sauce that was to become known as la Genovese was their speciality. The meat should be served as a second course, with a little of the sauce, after the pasta dish with the onion sauce. Sometimes the meat is omitted from the recipe, and pasta served with the sauce made only with the onions is called a finta Genovese (fake Genovese).
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