Traditional Italian Recipes: Bolognese

BAM! There you go: bolognese!

BAM! There you go: bolognese!

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The Ingredient

Lawyers Rosa Lucente, 52, and Paola Tassi, 57, curate and conserve traditional recipes.

“We’re friends and have been cooking for each other for years."

At one point, we decided we wanted to start cooking for strangers, too, and so we joined a network called Le Cesarine. In Bologna, it’s not just the upper crust who have always eaten well – the man or woman on the street has never gone hungry either. In 2004, Professor Egeria di Nallo set up Le Cesarine in order to make sure that traditional Italian recipes get passed down to the next generations. Today, there are around 400 Cesarine across the country, 15 of us here in Bologna. Visitors can book us on the website and we prepare them a meal at home like our grandmothers used to.

"One we like to do is Tagliatelle al ragú"

"One we like to do is Tagliatelle al ragú"

"No-one in Bologna eats the internationally famed dish called Spaghetti Bolognese. Meat sauces are only ever served with tagliatelle here because the thicker strands hold them better than spaghetti.

Everyone in Bologna has their own recipe for the ragú. Our ingredients are onions, carrots, celeriac, a lot of pork mince (far less beef than most people from abroad expect), and some pancetta. We fry it all in butter in a pan (contrary to what people consider typically Italian, people don‘t use a lot of olive oil around here) and then it simmers for two or three hours with tomato puree and passata or tinned tomatoes. Some people add a bay leaf and a glass of white wine and let it cook for another couple of hours. Then, all of a sudden, bam! There you go: ragú a la Bolognese.”

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