Before we extol the virtues of our tagliatelle Bolognese (and they are ample), we’re gonna get all persnickety and make a note on Italian pronunciation. The “g” you see in both “Tagliatelle” and “Bolognese” is not hard, as it would be in English. Instead, think of the “llio” in million and the “nio” in onion, and you’re much closer to the mark. You’ll have to exercise your tongue a little, but you’ll avoid dirty looks from Italians, and come to think of it that’s a win-win. We just wanna make you look good.
Now, to get right at the meat of things (puns always intended), let’s talk ragù. Situated in northern Italy (Emilia-Romagna to be precise), Bologna is a city renowned for its excellent food. Out of a plethora of delicacies, the braised meat sauce (a.k.a. ragù) bearing Bologna’s name is undoubtedly its most famous culinary asset. As with any popularized foodstuff, there’s no shortage of poor imitations, but the genuine article will make you understand what the fuss is about. To that end, our recipe is very much aligned with tradition where ingredients are concerned. The mixture of ground meats, cured pork in the form of pancetta, light dose of tomato (it’s a meat sauce, not a tomato sauce), and milk (not cream) are all components of a classic Bolognese. Now, for how we deviate: any nonna worth her salt would call for slowly simmering the assembled sauce in a pot for hours, producing a ragù which sublimely marries delicacy and richness. We’re all for slow cooking, but instead of a pot we need to watch, we of course opt for the bag and soak approach, arriving at the same meltingly tender results with a bit less fuss. Combined with tagliatelle and finished with parmigiano reggiano, we return to tradition. Bliss.
In the end, however you say it, the dish is one of the crown jewels of Italian cuisine. But if you insist on saying “tag-lee-uh-tel-ee” instead of “tah-lyah-tel-le”, we implore you to at least say “bo-log-nay-zay” for the sake of consistency.