After hours of waiting and diligently attending to your Bolognese as it gently reduces into a luxurious pot of meaty richness, it is time to enjoy the result of your labor. While Americans might first reach for the box of spaghetti, there are many delightful ways to savor your luscious sauce. Considered a tourist food in Italy, spaghetti Bolognese is actually an American creation likely brought into existence by Italian immigrants in the early to mid-20th century. In fact, the Mayor of Bologna called out spaghetti Bolognese for its inauthenticity as Northern Italians typically enjoy their ragù with a fresh, flat pasta such as tagliatelle or pappardelle, which stands up better to the thick sauce (via CBC News). While fresh pasta brings a softer, richer texture from the inclusion of eggs, dried pasta typically has a rougher surface for the sauce to adhere to and offers an al dente bite that contrasts nicely with the tender meat. Either fresh or dried, these wider, flat kinds of pasta are ideal for clinging to thick sauces like Bolognese.
Beyond a classic bowl of pasta ragù, Bolognese makes a decadent addition to baked ziti, fluffy gnocchi, stuffed tortellini, creamy polenta, and hearty, layered lasagna. Next time you prepare a traditional Bolognese, skip the spaghetti and try one of these delicious options instead.