29 Feb 12 Italian chefs tell world how to make correct bolognese
While the dish has been a staple for millions of diners around the world for decades, Italian gourmands claim the original recipe has become so corrupted it is in urgent need of culinary rescue.
They insist that the popular dish’s apparent simplicity is deceptive, and throw their arms up in dismay when they see chicken or turkey used as a substitute for the key ingredient, minced beef, says a report in The Telegraph.
In an attempt to restore the integrity of the dish known to millions of diners around the world as “spag bol”, nearly 450 chefs in Italian restaurants in 50 countries cooked spaghetti bolognese on Sunday February 26 with authentic ingredients including pancetta, carrots, celery, onions, tomato paste and a dash of wine.
They had to conform to a recipe set down in 1982 by the chamber of commerce in Bologna – the home of bolognese.
Most people, particularly foreigners, get the recipe wrong from the very start, purists insist. Instead of spaghetti, they say it is tagliatelle that should be cooked to go with the rich meat and tomato sauce, making it “tag bol” rather than “spag bol”.
“Along with lasagne, spaghetti bolognese is the most abused Italian dish. There are some crazy versions out there,” said Massimo Bottura, a bolognese “virtuoso” who runs a restaurant in Modena.
Abominations such as turkey mince, American meatballs, butter and cream have no part in a true spaghetti bolognese and need to be stamped out, say the guardians of Italy’s culinary heritage.
“Abroad, when they offer spaghetti bolognese, it’s often something that has nothing at all to do with the original,” said Alfredo Tomaselli, the owner of Dal Bolognese, in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo, who counts among his past customers George Clooney.
It is not only spaghetti bolognese that is subject to abuse in the kitchens of the world.
Other Italian dishes that have gained worldwide popularity, such as spaghetti carbonara, Neapolitan pizza, pesto and the creamy dessert tiramisu, have also been compromised, often with results that are close to inedible.
“It is always the great classic recipes that get most twisted around,” said Alessandro Circiello, of the Italian Federation of Chefs.