Rigatoni with Sugo Finto (Meatless Ragu)


I love pasta and I make it for myself for lunch all the time. If you read this blog regularly, you know this about me. So, if you are like me, then, you will absolutely love this dish. It’s inspired by a recipe by Mario Batali called “sugo finto” which technically means fake sauce but all that means is that it is a meatless bolognese.

I take issue with the idea that this sauce if fake, because there is nothing fake about this! All of the ingredients are real, and it’s fresh, delicious, meat free and healthy. Plus, it is simple to make. The sauce comes together in the time it takes to make the pasta. That is my kind of meal.

Make as much as you want – double, triple or quadruple the recipe!

Rigatoni with Sugo Finto

Servings 1 person


  • rigatoni enough for one person
  • 1/2 whole onion
  • 1 whole carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water + pasta water if necessary


  1. Get the pasta going. Process the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and basil in the processor until fine. Set aside for a moment.

  2. Toast the breadcrumbs in a skillet until fragrant. Set aside.

  3. Keep the skillet on the fire and add the vegetable mixture along with the oil.

  4. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables are softening. Add tomato paste and mix around. Cook it out for a minute or so and then add water. Stir around and cook on low heat while the pasta finishes cooking. If the sauce seems too thick, add some pasta water.

  5. Use a spider strainer to lift the pasta out of the water and drop it into the sugo finto. Mix in half of the breadcrumbs and toss around to coat the rigatoni.

  6. Serve with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs and fresh basil. Enjoy!

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