Friday, July 3, 2009

I Have Tasted The Best Bolognaise Ever Made

Bolognese sauce (ragù alla bolognese in Italian, also known by its French name sauce bolognaise, which is also the spelling we use here in South Africa) is a meat-based sauce for pasta originating 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 macaroni or other durum wheat short pasta. The traditional recipe, registered 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) milk or cream. However, different recipes, even in the Bolognese tradition, make use of chopped pork or pork sausage, while chicken or goose liver may be added along with the beef or veal for special occasions, etc. "The Classic Italian Cookbook", claims that the longer Ragù alla Bolognese cooks the better, a 5 or 6 hour simmer is not unusual. Having never been a notable fan of bolognaise, last night I had what is potentially the best bolognaise I’ve ever had, almost felt wrong that I couldn’t share it with more people. It evoked the same feelings one gets when they are in a small village and taste the best meal and wish the restaurant was in a bigger place where it could be experienced by more. The last time something to this effect happened to me was when I was in a quaint restaurants, La Colombe d’Or, atop a hill in Saint Paul-de-Vance in the lower Provence area (South of France), and last night this spectacular bolognaise was made by a seemingly unassuming and simple cook, who poured all of his soul into making that dish, the effort paid off. The dish shone on all fronts, from the ground texture, the rich colour of a well simmered dish, the warm aroma probably made by the presence of some chilli (the cook’s creative call) and of course the taste were all nothing short of perfect and I even surprised myself by having seconds, I hope more people get to taste it in future.


  1. great post. I love Bolognese. What restaurant was this that you went to? Maybe you'll go again, and again, and again? Sounds like a decent place!!!

  2. Appreciate you listing the different ingredients, your post just settled a dispute between myself and my brother in law, who is Italian, who argues Bolognese had pork suasage in it, in America we dont do that, but i guess we were both right in our own ways.


  3. hey Laz,
    I reckon i'll be eating this bolognese again and again in future - and hope some of my mates get to tatse it too ;)

    Glad to have helped - and yeah trust the Italian :-)