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Sugo Alla Bolognese and other Wintry Wonders

Meat Sauce!"When you hear the cuisine of Bologna mentioned, bow to it," Pellegrino Artusi says in his The Science of Cookery and the Art of Eating Well. He's right: It's one of the most refined and mouthwatering of Italy's regional cuisines, with heavenly desserts and wonderful entrees. However, it really comes into its own with pasta: tortellini, which supposedly owe their shape to a vision a Bolognese innkeeper had of Venus's navel, and Sugo alla Bolognese, the rich meat sauce that helps keep winter's chill at bay, are just the tip of an iceberg.

Of the two, tortellini are certainly more festive, in large part because they require a fair amount of time to make. Sugo alla Bolognese, on the other hand, just requires a low flame for simmering (which helps warm the kitchen during the winter), and is ubiquitous throughout northern and central Italy, where it is usually just called sugo. If you learn how to make it well, you may grow old, ugly, even doddering, but you'll never lack for company.

Artusi suggests that it be served with a thick walled pasta such as penne (ziti), which will absorb some of the sauce. Gnocchi di patate topped with sugo are mouth watering too, and it goes wonderfully in lasagne al forno (interlayered with pasta, bèchamel sauce, and grated Parmigiano).

Some Sughi

  • Sugo alla Bolognese: Based on Artusi's recipe, and how Mother-in-Law Graziella makes it.
  • Ossibuchi al Sugo, stewed veal shanks, which also yields sugo for pasta (step by step)
  • Dr Stu's Bolognese Sauce has milk, as does the "official" recipe in Bologna.
  • Tagliatelle with Lamb Ragu
  • Orecchiette with Veal Sauce
  • Pork Sauce For Pasta

Good Food & Drink,

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