The History of Taste: Getting to the Bottom of Bolognese


History of Bolognese

[boh-luh-neez, –nees]

On its surface, Italian food seems reliably consistent: most dishes contain some type of pasta, several types of cheese, and a generous helping of sauce, typically tomato-based. Anyone who has ventured outside the realm of standard ‘Italian American’ restaurants, though, can attest to the wide variation that can exist within a dish’s ingredients and preparation, even while bearing the same name from establishment to establishment. Bolognese sauce is a stand-out example of a ‘well-known’ dish whose definition changes dramatically depending on who you ask.

The basic description for bolognese sauce that can be agreed on is that it is a meat-based sauce that originated in Bologna, Italy, where it is also known as ragu. From there, the dish is open to interpretation. The first documentation that refers specifically to bolognese comes from 18th century Imola, a town within the Bologna provence. Ragu alla bolognese, the earliest incarnation of the sauce, was prepared through a painstaking process and contained a large amount of finely minced vegetables, typically onion, celery, and carrot. The liquid base for bolognese can be milk or wine with tomato sauce or paste gradually becoming a larger component of the recipe over the years.

Roselli’s bolognese sauce recipe draws on the traditional incarnation of the dish, bringing together slow-cooked beef, carrots, and onions in a simmered tomato puree. Italians insist the best use of the sauce is over tagliatelle, a flat egg noodle that holds the sauce’s heartiness well, though Americans have been enjoying spaghetti alla bolognese since the sauce’s introduction to the states.

Origin of Bolognese


Roselli’s Bolognese Ingredients

All of Roselli’s products are made from scratch using all natural ingredients, with no additives or preservatives.  Below are fresh ingredients used for our bolognese sauce laid out on the chopping block.

Bolognese Ingredients Final

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