Bolognese sauce is an Italian meat-based sauce for pasta, which originates in Bologna, a city in Northern Italy. A thick, full-bodied meat sauce in northern Italy’s Bologna. The term alla Bolognese (in French, à la Bolognese) on a menu designates as pasta or other dish sauced with ragù, which is meat based sauce. The words for Italian ragù and French ragout (though for entirely different dishes) are both derived from the verb ragoûter, which means, “to stimulate the appetite.” A true Bolognese sauce includes a small amount of tomatoes or tomato paste in a rich sauce with meat and other ingredients. It tends to be served on thick pasta, as larger pasta shapes hold meat much better than finer pastas such as capellini. Variations on the sauce outside of Italy often include much more tomato and vegetable ingredients, which change the flavor profile considerably. The first certain record of noodles cooked by boiling is in the Jerusalem Talmud, written in Aramaic in the 5th century AD. The word used for the noodles was itriyah. In Arabic references this word stands for the dried noodles purchased from a vendor, rather than homemade noodles, which would have been fresh. Dried noodles are portable, while fresh must be eaten immediately. More than likely, pasta was introduced during the Arab conquests of Sicily. The Arab geographer, Al Idrisi wrote that a flour-based product in the shape of strings was produced in Palermo, then an Arab colony. As the climate and the ground of Italy was better suited for the production of durum wheat, Italy became the center the center of durum wheat pasta manufacturing.

Although Spaghetti alla Bolognese is very popular outside of Italy, it never existed in Bologna, where ragù is served always with the local egg pastas tagliatelle or lasagne. Spaghetti is durum wheat pasta from Naples, and the Naples Ragù of a meat flavored thick tomato sauce clings much better to slippery spaghetti than Bologna’s ground beef ragù.

This class is for the lover’s of Bolognese and for those who want to know how to make the proper ragu’s, and what types of pastas go with each sauce, and the secrets of Carmela’s generations of heritage come together to aid you in being inspired, for you to create.

See you in my kitchen Carmela.