Spaghetti Bolognese: The Classic Italian Dish – Or is it?

The Villa Written by 

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Tagliatelle Bolognese Tagliatelle Bolognese
Spaghetti Bolognese has come to epitomise popular Italian cuisine the world over: A rich meat sauce sat on top of long strands of pasta, dusted with finely grated Parmesan cheese. Sound familiar? But what if I told you that ‘ragù alla Bolognese’ is traditionally served with Tagliatelle?

The Sauce

‘Spag Bol’ as we affectionately know it, probably has as many recipe variations as there are countries in the world. One of the earliest known ‘ragu’ recipes was recorded at 18th century Imola near Bologna, the former home of F1 Grand Prix racing.

In the late 19th century, Pellegrino Artusi published his cookbook with a ‘Maccheroni alla bolognese’. Although this was a meat-based pasta sauce recipe, it barely resembles the dish we eat today: for one thing it didn’t use tomatoes!

Around 100 years later, with wildly varying Bolognese recipes, the Italian Academy of Cuisine (Accademia Italiana della Cucina), sought to preserve the heritage of the dish. They submitted their recipe to the Bologna Chamber of Commerce (La Camera di Commercio di Bologna) as the most authentic ‘ragù alla Bolognese’, to which all other recipes should conform. But of course, Mommas and Nonnas, (& Papas) the world over have their own ‘secret’ ingredient that makes theirs the best.

Additional Info

List of ingredients:

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