Everybody has an opinion on ragù alla bolognese, the classic meat sauce that originates from the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Only this week, the chef and restaurateur Antonio Carluccio called out the British for what he saw as their bastardisation of the dish, specifically the use of herbs and spaghetti in "spaghetti bolognese" or, whisper it, "spag bol." According to Carluccio a ragù alla bolognese should be made with "oil, onion, two types of meat - beef and pork ... tomatoes, then a bit of wine, including tomato paste ... grate Parmesan on the top" – served with tagliatelle, he told The Telegraph.
Below you can watch five Michelin star chefs cooking ragù alla Bolognese their way. Giorgio Locatelli (7.40 minutes in) stays fairly true to the original, Gordon Ramsay chucks in some dried organo and worcestershire sauce for his bolognese on a budget (sorry Antonio), Tom Kerridge (10.50 minutes in) builds on his mother's original recipe, while Pierre Koffman whips up a delicious-looking cuttlefish ragù.
This again raises the question of how far chefs should be allowed to push traditional recipes? Certainly we've seen some homecooked bolognese horror shows in our time (ketchup anyone?), but if a cook feels they can enhance a dish should they be allowed to mess with years of tradition? Jamie Oliver was recently in trouble with the Spanish for his version of paella, but was he right to get such a dressing down? Let us know your thoughts on this issue over on our Facebook page, and also, tell us how you make your ragù alla bolognese!
Take a culinary road trip through Modena and Bologna