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Sep 27, 2013 06:48 PM

Finding the Authetic Bolognese

Hi all,

I'm in Milan heading to Bologna. While in Bologna, I'm looking for the most traditional/authentic Pasta Bolognese. Any ideas on where to find it in a restaurant or a bookstores the carried local cookbooks welcome.


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  1. I'm not sure where you should go since it's been years since I was in Bologna, but I do know what you should call it. What the world calls bolognese sauce, the bolognesi call simply "ragù". It is customarily served on tagliatelle or in lasagne.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mbfant


      If you ever get back to Bologna, I hope you will read some menus in restaurants and see what you keep posting on Chowhound is incorrect.

      This is on the menu at Caminetto d'Oro

      "Tagliatelle alla Bolognese con il ragù tradizionale"

      This is on the menu at Teresina

      "Tagliatelle al ragù bolognese"

      This is on the menu at Trattoria del Rosso

      "Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese"

      I could go on and on with similar examples.

      Yes, sometimes a menu will say "simply" ragu and nothing but ragu. But just as often it will not. It will say something more complicated, or even say the word "Bolognese" -- right there in Bologna!

      In memory of Marcella Hazan, I would like to post here one of my very favorite quotes from her, one that taught me more than her cookbooks. She was speaking of American chefs, but I think it applies more broadly:

      "American[s] who go to Italy suffer from a Moses complex, they are always coming down from the mount with a tablet of rules for the unlearned."

    2. i have fallen in love with the Osteria la Bottega everything is perfect!

      Osteria Bottega
      Via S. Caterina, 51
      Tel. +39 051.585111

      1. The authentic ragu recipe can be found on a brass plaque on the wall of the city hall

        4 Replies
        1. re: cassis

          Sorry there's no way I can travel to Bologna. It's not fair to tease us like this. Please provide the recipe on the brass plaque. Thanks in advance.

            1. re: vinoroma

              Thanks, much appreciated as it settles a disagreement with my sister.

          1. re: cassis


            Have you seen this plaque? I have never heard of it before, and have just looked around the internet to see if I could find a picture of it, but thus far no luck. I would have thought it would be something tourists would take pictures of and end up posting somewhere on the internet.

            There does exist, inside the Palazzo dei Mercanti, a bronze measuring stick that supposedly indicates that exact size that one strand of tagliatella should be (based on the proportions of Bologna's twin towers). You can see a picture here:


            Inside the same building, a copy of the allegedly "official" recipe of the classic Bolognese ragu has been put on deposit and is "guarded" by the local merchants society, but no mention of any brass plaques anywhere that have the recipe.

            Just curious if you or anyone else has ever seen the brass plaque with a ragu recipe or can find a picture.

          2. Trattoria Boni prides itself on serving the traditional foods of Bologna. I have not been there in many years.


            1. I recommend Caminetto d'Oro.