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what to serve as sides with bolognese?

chungyc45 Feb 14, 2007 11:41 AM

I love making a big pot of spaghetti bolognese, but I always feel like i need some sides to go with. Any favorites you can share?

  1. Jill Feb 14, 2007 11:44 AM

    Broccoli rabe or spinach sauteed in a good, light olive oil with some garlic is always nice.

    1. JungMann Feb 14, 2007 11:45 AM

      I think you might want something lighter and acidic to go on the side. How about:
      roasted asparagus with shaved parmesan and aged balsamic drizzled on top?
      steamed broccoli with lemon-garlic crumb topping?
      eggplant caponata?
      caprese salad?

      1. ballulah Feb 14, 2007 11:48 AM

        Bolognese is such a one pot meal, I hardly ever serve it with anything more than crusty bread and a green salad.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ballulah
          Katie Nell Feb 14, 2007 12:37 PM

          Yeah, it sounds kind of boring, but I really don't think anything else goes nearly as well. I always struggle with different sides for pasta- I planned WAY too many pasta dishes this week and I'm afraid my husband doesn't love salad as much as I do! Oh well, more for me!

          1. re: ballulah
            lasiciliana Feb 15, 2007 11:47 AM


            a nice bowl of spaghetti with bolognese with a side salad of greens or even chopped fennel tossed with some evoo and balsamic and a nice piece of french bread!

            Dinner is SERVED!

            1. re: ballulah
              prunefeet Feb 16, 2007 06:44 AM

              I think an arugula salad would be perfect. Simply dressed.

            2. chelleyd01 Feb 14, 2007 12:14 PM

              a delicious dark green salad with maytag bleu, craisins, pecans and a balsamic reduction. Crusty bread slathered with fresh garlic butter. Love in a pot.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chelleyd01
                ballulah Feb 14, 2007 12:33 PM

                You said it with much more feeling than I did, but yes, exactly. Hahaha. Although I would pass on the craisins myself, I haven't been able to find any that don't have artificial sweeteners. Anyone have any ideas if they are to be found anywhere? For the dressing I would recommend my recent concoction...I have a nice bottle of walnut oil, which I'll use a few good glugs of and squeeze a lemon or two into (depending on how much I'm making), I smash a garlic clove and plop that in squished but not chopped to be removed later, and salt and fresh ground pepper. It doesn't sound like much, but the walnut oil is seriously divine.

                1. re: ballulah
                  chelleyd01 Feb 15, 2007 04:17 PM

                  craisins was a bad choice. My local health food co-op has a dried cranberry, no sweeteners, just chewy goodness.

              2. Karl S Feb 14, 2007 01:00 PM

                Wilted spinach or sauteed lacinato kale with garlic and oil and pine nuts. Or roasted winter vegetables drizzled with walnut oil. A simple green salad with oil and meyer lemon juice, salt & pepper; not a composed salad.

                The idea is: simple, not complex. The ragu is complex. It should have no competition. It should be counterpointed by simplicity.

                No cheesy side dishes. I repeat no cheesy side dishes. Nothing to compete in richness with the dairy in the ragu bolognese.

                1. c
                  Carnitas Feb 14, 2007 01:54 PM

                  Hmmm.. You don't serve it as a primi pasta course before the secondi?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Carnitas
                    Chinon00 Feb 15, 2007 03:47 PM

                    In my experience pasta dishes as formidable as bolognese preclude a secondi (unless of course the portion is substantially small enough to allow a course after). But in general a dish like bolognese is the centerpiece of the meal. Finish up with a salad and maybe a dolce after that.

                    1. re: Chinon00
                      Carnitas Feb 17, 2007 11:10 AM

                      "Small enough" indeed. You're clearly not from Bologna.

                      1. re: Carnitas
                        Chinon00 Feb 17, 2007 11:52 AM

                        I'm unclear as to what you're trying to say.

                        1. re: Carnitas
                          chunkylover24 Aug 9, 2012 09:29 PM

                          I'm from Bologna. On behalf of Bologna, I would like to apologize for this raving lunatic.

                          1. re: chunkylover24
                            mbfant Aug 10, 2012 02:49 AM

                            @ chunkylover24

                            Since you're from Bologna, why don't you be the one to say (1) tagliatelle, not spaghetti, and (2) nothing on the side, not even in your dreams. A nice portion of tagliatelle al ragù (bolognese) could, however, be followed by a crisp green salad, hold the garlic bread.

                            1. re: mbfant
                              linguafood Aug 10, 2012 03:50 AM


                    2. jfood Feb 14, 2007 05:08 PM

                      Double batch of Hazan's Bolognese this weekend and served with some homemade pasta, nice wide cut and a little garlic bread, fullstop.

                      1. Kajikit Feb 15, 2007 10:38 AM

                        I like bolegnaise with a nice fresh green salad... it cuts the greasiness and contrasts nicely with the tomato flavour.

                        1. c
                          ChiliDude Feb 15, 2007 11:04 AM

                          Since I have lived in the same household for 47 years with a woman of Italian heritage, I also suggest 'una insalata verde.' By tradition, the people of Italian heritage that I know eat the salad after the entrees, not before. Restaurants like to fill you on herbage before the entrees so that you get filled up on the salad as well as bread. Then restaurants can serve smaller portions at inflated prices.

                          ChiliDude (not of Italian heritage)
                          Member, Board of Directors of IL CIRCOLO ITALIANO

                          1. sashimi73 Feb 15, 2007 11:44 AM

                            Lately I have been making a simple arugula salad of baby arugula and shaved pecorino romano drizzled with hazelnut oil and lemon juice. Simple, easy, and a wonderful complement to pasta.
                            My SO loves it and recently asked me why no one serves this in restaurants!

                            1. h
                              Harters Aug 10, 2012 06:28 AM

                              We never have any accompaniment with pasta dishes (except lasagne). Some salad leaves as a starter, certainly - but not with.

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