pasta puttanesca

Joined May 26, 2001
I presume you mean Bolognese, that is, a ragù in the style of Bologna. Ah, Bologna la grassa -- Bologna the fat, quite a good distance from the French border, actually -- of which it is said: "Every proper Bolognese [person who comes from Bologna] is secure in his or her own formula for constructing this most fundamental Emilian sauce, each of them holding tightly to an inviolable and sacred method." Veal, pork, porcini, milk, cream, tomato, carrots: Yes? No? Never? Don't be ridiculous. Especially if you, like me, are an American not even distantly related to Italia.

In other words, no matter what you or I or anyone can find in a book, there is no absolute version of any recipe. Oh, sure, there's la ricetta ufficiale della Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato e Agricoltura di Bologna which -- ahem -- includes cream or milk. But does that mean it is the only way it will be done? Nonsense. So all of these "Oh that should NEVER include cream" or "That ALWAYS has egg yolks" is just trying to show off that you have a book you can quote. But it does not prove anything other than you can read. Maybe.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
The subject of authenticity is always an interesting one. There's always a place where the recipe started, and many twists, some more authentic than others. Go to a haute cuisine restaurant in France today and order a veloute, chances are you won't find any roux or cream in it.

In fact, an Italian reading this thread would probably be laughing at the idea of using pancetta in Carbonara or All'Amatriciana: certainly not an "authentic" choice by any means.
Joined May 29, 2006
You are right every family has their own conception of right or wrong and how to, thats why they get into arguments at the dinner table. There are 5 to 10 stories about the orgin and prep of Marinara, who is to say which is correct .I do know that originally it was strictly used for seafood.
Joined Nov 6, 2004
Hi all,

On the topic of Bolognese, I've tried a few versions and all were quite good. But recently I made the Ragu alla Bolognese that was approved by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina.

All the versions that I tried previous to this were quite good...I don't have a problem with cooking variations of a dish at all. Sometimes we need to tailor the recipe to ourselves! But this Ragu all Bolognese recipe was SOOOOOOO good. I made it with fresh made tagliatelle.

I made the recipe at work and I'm wanting to make it at home for my wife, but I'd like to wait until I get some of the new harvested olive oil from Italy first. I know it sounds silly to wait...but I'll be picking some new harvest olive oil any day now and I'd like to wait for the olio nuovo and homemade bread.

the recipe is really tasty!

Ragu alla Bolognese Suzanne, I believe this may be the same (or similar) recipe to the link in your post.

enjoy your food!

Edit:strike that
Joined May 26, 2001
GF -- that might be the same recipe, yes.

The point I've been trying to make is that there is no single "authentic" or even "classic" version of any dish, and that anyone who claims to know THE "authentic" anything only knows one version of many. Unless, of course, the dish really is the creation of the person making the claim. Even then it might just be a variation on a long-forgotten theme. (And I don't hold much store in any "traditional" dish having sprung like Athena from the brow of some single cook, somewhere. Escoffier didn't invent everything; he just wrote everything down. :lol:)

If I am guilty of claiming that the recipes I reference are the only "authentic" versions of a dish, I deserve to get my keyboard slapped. :laser:

Think about it: most "traditional" or "classic" dishes were originally created from what was available, using the available technology, and based on someone's taste preferences. Likewise, variations were based on what the person cooking had, and what that person remembered. Even following a recipe "to the letter" will produce a different version every time because nothing is ever the same -- not the ingredients, not the weather, not the cook. Well, maybe if you're making something out of a bunch of manufactured chemicals, it will be almost the same each time; but try as you might to limit the variables, they will still exist.
Joined Mar 2, 2009
Ed... to an Italian... this is OH so true!! Authentic is how MAMA made it! However, the biggest discussion, even among Bolognians is what is the "official' Bolognese sauce. Most will agree it does take some cream but only at the finish. The reality is, it's a meat based sauce that every Italian kitchen makes.

As I have many friends in Italy, including those running cooking schools, are chefs or just home cooks, every one will give you a different opinion on the authenticity but there are some consistencies....

Bolognese is made with meat.
Lasagna is not made with ricotta but bechamel. (it makes it lighter and much more flavorful)
Each region's cooking in Italy is the best. In Italy, when they go out for dinner, they choose a different regions cooking as it is as different to us as Mexican, Chinese and BBQ. I've been in quite a few regions and, to be honest, I love them all and have no favorites.

My mantra... just bring it on and keep the wine carafe full!!!:lol:

Buono anno nuovo a tutti!! Happy New Year to everyone!!
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