Spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese

By
From
Margaret Fulton Favourites
Serves
4-8
Photographer
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

Bologna is lovingly referred to as the cradle of Italian cooking. It is said that this Bolognese dish was devised in 1487 on the occasion of the marriage of Lucrezia Borgia. The cook, inspired by the bride’s beautiful hair, made it using tagliatelle - a ribbon-like pasta — paired with the rich sauce or ragù of the region.

I cannot help admiring the Italian enjoyment of food and nowhere is it more apparent than in Bologna. I remember seeing a rotund diner at his usual restaurant, at his usual table, tucking a huge snowy napkin under his collar, and in front of him was a steaming bowl of pasta with its Bolognese sauce. He sat alone and I was informed that he had been doing that same thing for 30 years.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500-1 g-kg spaghetti, (see Tip)
1/2-1 quantity bolognese sauce
grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Use a large saucepan with plenty of room for the pasta to cook evenly and not stick together. For every 250 g of pasta use 14 cups of water seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt. Boil the water vigorously before adding the pasta. Do not add oil at this point — although it helps stop the pasta sticking together it also prevents the sauce from clinging to the pasta. In any case, only inferior pasta is inclined to stick together, so use a quality brand.
  2. Lower the spaghetti slowly into the saucepan so that the water stays on the boil. Stir a few times to start and then leave to boil vigorously. Cooked pasta should be tender but still firm — ‘al dente’ as the Italians say. When cooked, remove immediately from the heat and drain the pasta, reserving 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Do not rinse, as the sauce will not cling so readily to rinsed pasta.
  3. Add the Bolognese sauce to the cooked spaghetti and toss over a gentle heat for 1 minute, adding some of the parmesan at this point. If the pasta seems dry, add a little of the reserved cooking water. Sprinkle with more parmesan and serve.

Tip

  • While Bolognese sauce is often teamed with spaghetti, it can also be eaten with other types of pasta such as tagliatelle, rigatoni, or even gnocchi.
Tags:
Margaret
Fulton
Favourites
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