Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

Pasta Shuta


Alex and my pasta-making adventure last week brought forth a lot of family reminiscing. John says his main memory of his grandma’s pasta was that she put the noodles into broth. His Grandpa Guido, on the other hand, served pasta shuta.

Pasta Shuta. The “u” is pronounced sort of like “oo” …and be sure to use some force with your tongue when you pronounce the “t”. And of course, don’t forget to wave your hands extravagantly for emphasis. Now that’s Italian!

John says he thinks “pasta shuta” means dry pasta – as opposed to noodles floating in broth. In other words, it’s pasta in red sauce, or gravy.

By the way, I was tickled to hear from my friend and paisana, Stephanie, that her very Italian family – the Famiglia Rizzi – also calls the red stuff gravy.

But whatever you call it, today I offer you my recipe for the red sauce that goes over pasta. There are certainly more difficult recipes, and there are those which don’t use canned products, but over the years I have had much applause for this fairly authentic tasting sauce. I hope you try it and like it!

Mangia, mangia!

Paladini Pasta Shuta Recipe

2 pounds hot Italian sausage (or sweet is okay)
1 pound very lean ground beef
A large onion, finely chopped
A bell pepper, chopped
A large bunch of basil, chopped
1 tbsp snipped fresh oregano
At least 10 cloves of garlic
2 or 3 large firm portabella mushrooms, cut in pieces, (Any mushrooms are fine.)
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 can pitted black olives
1 cup red wine
2 6oz. cans tomato paste
2 or 3 15oz. cans of diced tomatoes

Brown the Italian sausage links in heavy skillet, piercing them to let some of the fat out. When they are pretty well browned, transfer them to a large heavy soup pot. Most of the time I use my large crock pot.

Who doesn’t love to get a whole Italian sausage on his plate?!

Begin to sauté the portabella mushrooms and bell peppers in the same pan in which you cooked the sausage.

Brown the ground beef in another heavy skillet with onion and minced garlic. You may need to add a little olive oil if you are using very lean ground beef. (Remember, olive oil is good for us!)

When the meat is browned and the onions are mostly cooked, add both cans of tomato paste. Cook, over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the tomato paste begins to look brownish. This is a very important step. As you stir the mixture make sure you scrape the bottom of the skillet so the sauce doesn’t stick and scorch.

Spoon the ground beef mixture onto the sausages in the crock pot.

Put about half a cup of water into the skillet to loosen all the sauce that is sticking to it, and pour that into the crock pot.

Add the mushroom and peppers.

Now pour in the cans of tomatoes, and the olives (including the brine) Add the basil, oregano, bay leaves and red wine.

Mix everything together. You can add another can of tomatoes if you like, or more olives. Or play with the garlic. Sometimes I put in some of my pesto if I’m short of basil or garlic.

Simmer it for at least 8 hours.


Grandpa Frank approves!

This recipe is featured in Recipes from Paladini Potpie, available now in paperback for $7.95!


Buy Recipes from Paladini Potpie - $7.95


Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

7 thoughts on “Pasta Shuta

  1. Oh, I so enjoyed your recipe. Sal’s family is Calabresi and his grandfather was Frank S (also a grandpa Frank). The picture caught my breath; your Grandpa Frank looked like Sal. I think is was the eyes and head (perhaps the lack of hair).
    Thank you for sharing. Oh, and it definitely is gravy! Now what do we call the breakfast white gravy?

  2. Pingback: Wedding Week Wanderings | Paladini Potpie

  3. It is so much fun to read your ‘ancient’ family recipes! I’m that cooking nerd that enjoys reading cookbooks, so ANY time you post a recipe, I HAVE to go look, right away! Giggles and thanks for the simple pleasure of reading about good cookery!

  4. That sauce was so good! It also opened my eyes to another delicious food I had never tried; Italian sausage! 🙂 mmmmmm

  5. Pingback: Immanuel Every Day | Paladini Potpie

  6. Pingback: Pasta Shuta Lasagna | Paladini Potpie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s