Some facts about the real authentic bolognese
Partaking of some authentic spaghetti bolognese in Bologna is amongst every gourmet’s things to do list but there are quite a few misunderstandings linked to this world-famous Italian dish.
It’s not actually called bolognese
Let’s start with possibly the biggest misunderstanding: what you’re eating is not actually called bolognese in Italy. What you’re looking for most likely will be ‘tahliatelle al ragu’, the ‘ragu’ part being the important one here, since that is the sauce.
It’s not best served on spaghetti
The reason for not finding any ‘spaghetti bolognese’ on Italian menus is partly due to the fact that, as we mentioned earlier, Italians don’t call it that, second of all being that spaghetti isn’t the best vehicle for the ragu sauce.
Italian chefs insist that meat will cling better to a flatter pasta shape hence why tagliatelle are the vehicle of choice.
Ragu sauce has a very interesting history
The sauce was first created in 18th-century Italian kitchens and a very rich version was written down in the 1891 cookery bible: “La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene” which translates to The Science of Cooking and the Art of Fine Dining. The author – Pellegrino Artusi – not content with just using veal – which has always been a rather high end meat – also calls for truffle, chicken liver and cream in his recipe.
Ragu sauce doesn’t come from Bologna either
Even though Bologna is taking credit for this rich pasta dish but the true source of it is Imola – just west of Bologna.
Ragu sauce actually has two kinds of meat
Most people know about the beef mince base, but the recipe also ‘panceta’ or some other kind of smokey bacon-like pork product.
Ragu sauce is not made up of mostly meat
Despite what we said earlier, most of the sauce is actually made up of vegetable like onion, celery, carrots and obviously tomatoes.