- Bolognese sauce
Bolognese sauce ("
ragùalla bolognese" in Italian, also known by its French name "sauce bolognaise") is a meat-based sauce for pastaoriginating in Bologna, Italy. Bolognese sauce is sometimes taken to be a tomato sauce but authentic recipes have only a small amount of tomato.
The people of Bologna traditionally serve their famous ragù with freshly made
tagliatelle("tagliatelle alla bolognese") and their traditionally green lasagne. Less traditionally, the sauce is served with maccheroni or other durum wheat short pasta.
The recipe, issued in 1982 by the Bolognese delegation of "Accademia Italiana della Cucina", confines the ingredients to
beef, pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, meat broth, red wine, and (optionally) milkor cream. However, different recipes, even in the Bolognese tradition, make use of chopped porkor pork sausage, while chickenor goose livermay be added along with the beef or vealfor special occasions, and today many use both butterand olive oil for cooking the Soffrittoof small amounts of celery, carrot and onion. Prosciutto, mortadella, or porcinifresh mushrooms when in season may be added to the ragù to further enrich the sauce. Milk is frequently used in the early stages of cooking to render the meat flavors more "delicate" but cream is very rare in the everyday recipe and only a very little would be used. All agree that the longer Ragù alla Bolognese cooks the better, a 5 or 6 hour simmer is not unusual.
Heston Blumenthal's BBC series "In Search of Perfection" saw Blumenthal on a quest to find the perfect Bolognese recipe. His travels took him to Bologna and neighbouring towns in search of the most typifying example of the dish. His culminating recipe was based on two principles: the richness of the sauce, whilst retaining the British interpretation of the dish "like mum would make it". It included some unconventional ingredients, including pork, (Bologna's favourite meat and much used in Bologna today) Worcester sauce, nam pla(thai fermented fish sauce, but both of these ingredients have a degree of authenticity if it is considered that they are related to Roman garum), and tarragon(unheard of in most of Italy). He stewed the sauce for four hours, and used butter instead of cream to "finish" the sauce
Traditionally white wine is used, not red. The sauce is supposed to retain some acidity, and remain more meat-coloured than tomato.
paghetti alla Bolognese
"Spaghetti alla Bolognese", "Spaghetti Bolognese", or "Spaghetti Bolognaise" in a form popular outside of
Italy, consists of a meat sauceserved on a bed of spaghettiwith a good sprinkling of grated Parmigiano cheese. Although Spaghetti alla Bolognese are very popular outside of Italy, it never existed in Bologna, where ragù is served always with the local egg pastas tagliatelle or lasagne. Spaghetti is a durum wheat pasta from Naples, and the Naples Ragù of a meat flavoured thick tomato sauce clings much better to slippery spaghetti than Bologna's ground beef ragù.
In recent decades, the dish has become very popular in
Swedenand Denmarkas " _sv. spagetti och köttfärssås," in Swedish, and " _dk. spaghetti og kødsovs" in Danish, especially among children. It is also popular in the United Kingdom(where it is colloquially abbreviated to "spag bol" or "spag bog") and has become a staple of the British dinner table. In the United States as well, the term 'bolognese' is often applied to a tomato-and-ground-beef sauce that bears little resemblance to ragù served in Bologna.
Chinese people often use the term "Western
zhajiang mian" to refer to spaghetti bolognese, alluding to its superficial similarities with the traditional Chinese noodle dish of zhajiang mianas both are dry noodles covered with a thick ragù mainly made of minced meat. This provides an interesting symmetrical perspective to Westerners referring to zhajiang mian as "Chinese spaghetti".
References and further reading
* Kaspar, Lynne Rossetto (1st Edition: September 21, 1992) "The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food", Morrow Cookbooks. ISBN 0-688-08963-1.
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Look at other dictionaries:
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