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January 27, 2008

Attention, Restaurants...

A lazy winter day at home today has presented me with the opportunity to both cook up an Armato/Scudiere household favorite and also to address a long-standing culinary pet peeve.

Attention, restaurants that purport to be Italian...

This is NOT Ragú alla BologneseTHIS is Ragú alla Bolognese

Don't misunderstand, I don't mean to cast aspersions on your tomato sauce with meat. It might be a spectacular tomato sauce with meat. But Ragú alla Bolognese is NOT tomato sauce with meat. It is a meat sauce with a little bit of tomato. Sounds like a fine distinction on paper, I know, but I hope this visual aid demonstrates that it most certainly is not. By all means, please continue to serve your tomato sauce with meat. I may even order it. But please don't call it Ragú alla Bolognese. Especially if it's pink, for cryin' out loud.

Glad we got that cleared up, guys... thanks.


That's the truth. Great site!

Actually, I was a line cook for a Roman family that own a restaurant in Ct and we ALWAYS made the Bolognese with milk....so it was kinda pink

With all due respect to your Roman friends, Ryan, I know an awful lot of Chinese families who make General Tso's Chicken at their restaurants, too, but that doesn't make it a Chinese dish :-)

Actually, my ragú on the right IS made with milk. Which is typical, if not completely universal. The meat is simmered in milk -- plenty of it -- until the milk completely evaporates. Ragú alla Bolognese is simmered for a very long time, until almost all of the liquid is cooked out and the fat separates from the meat. The only way you're going to achieve a pink sauce is either by not cooking it long enough (in which case the consistency will be all wrong and the flavor won't have the intensity that it should), or if you're using too much tomato and adding cream at the end (a common practice in the States, the one I was actually referring to, and what a lot of Americans expect... sadly).

In either case, it may very well be delicious. But it isn't Ragú alla Bolognese.

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