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The scandalous tale of spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese - classic, Italian and instantly recognisable? Not so. On 25th of February 2019, the Mayor of Bologna, Italy, Virginio Merola, dropped an explosive detail on Twitter. He Tweeted a picture of the words spaghetti bolognese with the words #fakenews. This was in support of the fact that spaghetti bolognese does not exist in Italy. Of course with Merola being the Mayor of Bologna, where the dish is thought to have originated, makes this claim rather explosive.

Since then the good Mayor has led a quest to educate the world about the facts of the (in)famous dish. He would like the world to remember that Bologna invented tagliatelle, tortellini and lasagne and finds it strange that the city is famous for a dish that doesn’t exist in Italy.

What has been misinterpreted as spaghetti bolognese is in fact a simple dish known as Ragu. It is a meat-based sauce made of ground meat, chunky vegetables and lovingly cooked for over two and a half hours in tomato, stock or even wine. However, it is rarely served with spaghetti in Bologna or indeed anywhere else in Italy. Due to the heartiness and the deep flavour of the sauce Ragu is served on a sturdy pasta with greater surface area to hold the sauce. An obvious choice for Ragu is tagliatelle.

So, the idea that spaghetti bolognese originated in Bologna is simply a food myth. The origins of the dish remain a mystery and possibly stay that way forever. However, if you’d like to try our Head Chef Anotonio’s delicious tagliatelle bolognese made the authentic Italian way, you can try it here