Tagliatelle al ragu – Bolognese sauce recipe

Bologna is the capital of the region Emilia Romagna, a region associated with excellent food (the Emiliani will argue that their cuisine is the true Italian cuisine), phenomenal wines, Ferraris, luxury lingerie (La Perla), UNESCO world heritage sites, Prada *sigh* and Parmesan cheese. 

The northern region of Italy, Emilia Romagna offers beaches, nature reserves, vineyards, valleys, mountains, medieval castles and Renaissance palaces but  a stop off in the city of a Bologna is a must.

I’ve been to Bologna a couple of times and on one occasion we were a group of friends on a day trip.

We walked around the centre,  one of the largest and best preserved historic centres among Italian cities. Bologna is characterised by porticos, or covered walkways that stretch out from the city centre for over 40 kilometers and taking in the museums, art galleries and religious buildings. We visited the market which was enormous and amazing and picked up lots of great bargains including clothes, shoes, food and jewellery.

Bologna is also home to the oldest university in Europe dating back to the 11th century. << Fascinating fact alert!


Bologna La Grassa

If food is your thing then the region surrounding Bologna La Grassa (Bologna the Fat) as the city is known has a labyrinth of food and wine trails where you will discover key producers, associated restaurants and museums dedicated to Parma Ham or Parmesan cheese.

For salamis follow the Strada del Culatello, for cheese follow Strada del Parmigiano. Make sure to take in the Lambrusco wines, the Balsamic Vinegar originating from Modena, pasta especially tortelli and mushrooms.

A personal favourite of mine is Mortadella, an enormous sausage, the meat is ground very finely and added to the mix with other ingredients are peppercorns, pistachios, coriander seeds and wine. Sliced as thin as paper and served in a fresh bread roll your taste buds won’t know what’s hit them!

And of course, Bologna is the home of our favourite Bolognese sauce and any Italian will tell you, a proper Bolognese should only be served with tagliatelle.

Formula 1

If cars are your thing then you are in the right place. Maserati, Lamborghini and Ducati are all based around Modena and Bologna, made locally and each with a museum to visit.

I visited the shrine to speed Galleria Ferrari in Maranello and if you are in the area and fancy rubbing shoulders with Formula One drivers at dinner then book a table at Ristorante Cavallino.

Bologna is ideal for a quick weekend city break or a longer holiday where you could take in Rimini, a buzzing Adriatic beach well worth a visit.

Take a look at my traditional bolognese sauce recipe

[yumprint-recipe id=’40’]Check out my 10 recipes to make with Bolognese sauce.

Short for time? Make a microwave ragu in half the time and just as delicious


  1. SAHMlovingit
    April 28, 2011 / 8:13 AM

    Lovely stuff again Mari and thanks for the yummy recipe too…hurry up and get to T so you can talk about Tuscany ;-)

    Thanks for your email. Funnily enough last night we booked into Hotel Bologna in Pisa for our last night :)

    Oh and “SWIT SWOO” on the leather pants/jacket combo!


  2. April 28, 2011 / 8:14 AM

    Beautiful pictures! I shall have to try that recipe.

    I have tagged you in a meme. No obligation to join in.

  3. April 28, 2011 / 8:18 AM

    WOW! I am sold for the food alone! You paint such a wonderful picture with your words you can tell it is a place that you love. David and I hope to explore Italy so we will be following your posts for ideas. Thank you x

  4. Yuckymum
    April 28, 2011 / 8:24 AM

    I spent 18 months in Bologna, so it holds a special place in my heart! I absolutely adored it and had a fantastic time. Seeing your pics of Piazza Maggiore brought back memories of the meeting place for all of us, and as I lived around the corner, was lucky to be so central. Having Firenze and Venice so close by, was massive bonus.

  5. April 28, 2011 / 11:25 AM

    BEAUTIFUL BOLOGNA! Thanks for sharing these awesome photos and information of this wonderful historic place!
    Have a fantastic B Day!

  6. April 28, 2011 / 4:17 PM

    Fantastic – thanks for sharing this. I hate to admit my dd loves bolognase and I buy it in a tin – I’ve been beating myself up about that for a loooong time. Now I have no more excuses..

  7. Rocky Mountain Woman
    April 28, 2011 / 5:26 PM

    A museum for ham? Sounds like my kind of place!

    Lovely recipe for Bolognese, I will certainly give it a whirl…

  8. April 28, 2011 / 5:24 PM

    I am going! for sure!!


  9. Catherine - Our Village is a Little Different
    April 28, 2011 / 6:49 PM

    I want to be there! My mother is going to be in Italy next month, but I still have a few years left to wait. Thank you for giving me a peek through your eyes. I love your blog.

    I’m a mom of twins, too. My boys are ten.

  10. April 28, 2011 / 6:35 PM

    Right. I am going to Bologna! Very soon. Very soon indeed!

    And how cool to get a yummy recipe too!

    Maggy x

  11. Judie
    April 28, 2011 / 9:16 PM

    Mari, this is an excellent post! I have certainly learned a lot in a short period of time. Thank you!!!!

  12. April 29, 2011 / 2:15 AM

    It sounds wonderful!

  13. Su-sieee! Mac
    April 29, 2011 / 7:45 AM

    Oh, Lady! You’ve sold me. I am so ready to go now. :-)

  14. April 29, 2011 / 11:25 PM

    Oh, oh, oh! I need a ticket. Right now. I would never have thought to put prosciutto in my sauce but I bet it is lovely and rich.

    This post was so tantalizing. What lovely history, customs, places and food!

    I’ll give you a call when my plane lands! ha!

    Thanks for linking up.

    This was brilliant.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *