Food & Drinks

Watch Michelin Chefs Make Ragù Alla Bolognese

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Watch Michelin Chefs Make Ragù Alla Bolognese
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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. Mario Batali and Giorgio Locatelli (16 minutes in) stay fairly true to the original, Gordon Ramsay chucks in some dried organo and worcestershire sauce for his bolognese on a budget (sorry Antonio), Heston Blumenthal (seven minutes in) adds cloves, coriander, star anise and fish sauce, 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!

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  • apalmero said on

    ...what about including an Italian chef who actually cooks in Italy among those above? I am not dogmatic and believe that variations can actually help and even occasionally improve the original recipe. But if you add up fish sauce, gelatin and liver, as recently seen in an American website, then it's not ragu alla bolognese. Just give it another name...

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