News: the real bolognese sauce   Leave a comment

An article today from the Times of London (Jan 18, 2010) by Richard Owen. Italy began a campaign yesterday to defend the reputation of one of its most famous but most widely abused exports: pasta with bolognese sauce — otherwise known as spag bol. Coldiretti, the country’s farmers’ union, said that although people around the world believed they were eating spaghetti bolognese, what they were actually forking into their mouths were ‘improbable concoctions’ of tomato paste from a jar with a ‘remarkable variety’ of ingredients, ranging from meatballs or turkey to mortadella. Yesterday, however, 440 chefs in Italian restaurants in 50 countries, from Malaysia to Turkey and Saudi Arabia to China, made the authentic dish with the precise ingredients and cooking methods laid down in a recipe patented by the Bologna Chamber of Commerce in 1982. Food experts say that to be authentic, bolognese sauce should be served with the egg noodle pasta tagliatelle, rather than spaghetti, with the tagliatelle conforming to a 1972 recipe laying down that it must be precisely 8mm wide. Mario Caramella, the head chef at the Bali Hyatt Hotel in Indonesia and head of the Virtual Association of Italian Chefs (GVCI), which organised the event, said: ‘If there is one dish in the Italian repertoire which is cooked worst than most, it is traditional bolognese sauce.’  Alfredo Tomaselli, the owner of Dal Bolognese, in the Piazza del Popolo, Rome, said: ‘It is true that when they offer ragu alla bolognese on menus abroad the dish in question often has absolutely nothing to do with the original.’  Alessandro Circiello, of the Italian Federation of Chefs, told Corriere della Sera newspaper: ‘It is always the great classic recipes that are most mangled.’ Too many cooks outside Italy tended to ‘throw a lot of cream and butter into dishes because they cover up hidden blemishes’. Coldiretti has sought in the past to defend other ‘adulterated’ Italian recipes, including Neapolitan pizza, pasta al pesto — a Genoese speciality, cotoletta alla Milanese and the ubiquitous Italian dessert tiramisu. However, Gianluigi Veronesi, a food writer, said that the world festival of bolognese sauce was too late ‘because frankly, they don’t even make it properly in Bologna any more’. Rosario Scarpato, the honorary president of the GVCI, said: ‘The sauce must be made with great care and simmered extremely slowly to bring out all the flavours. The tagliatelle must never, ever, be overcooked and at the very last moment, the dish should be served with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.’ The article then offers a recipe. For the BBC’s take on this follow the video link. SY

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Posted November 7, 2010 by zachmon in Uncategorized

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