Everyone cooks spag bol, everyone likes there own, and everyone has a secret ingredient, but this everyday staple is not as everyday as one might think. It is in many ways the chicken tikka masala of the Italian menu-a borrowed reinvented dish that may be more modern European than Italian at all.
Ever seen spaghetti Bolognese in Italy?
Hunting down this family favourite is top of the list for the uninitiated Italian food tourist, but the name, ingredients and even existence of the dish are the point of huge contention to the many food pedants out there.
Before you get angry with me….Bolognese sauce does exist. And the meaning is relatively straightforward (unlike Carbonara- an argument I won’t get into right now) it refers to a slow cooked sauce, usually meat ragu and tomato sauce from the Bologna region in Italy, One of many bones of contention regarding spaghetti ‘Bolognese’ is that the dish is commonly served with Tagliatelli, Pappardelle, tortellini but not spaghetti as it is most often presented.
Assuming the pasta element isn’t a deal breaker, the Bolognese Ragu sauce served around the world is entirely different to its Italian and Latin origins.
If you eat in any native family restaurant, the protein element of your meal may be greatly reduced in comparison to the same meal you may be served at home. The best cuisines have often developed out of seasonality and scarcity-alchemy that gets the most out of what you have. Have you ever noticed that the heavier meat based Bolognese sauce we know and love bears little resemblance to the thinner tomato sauce based sauce version you get in a good Italian restaurant? Now I like both, but do appreciate the difference. Less is often more in ingredient lead cooking, the sauce is not judged on the amount of meat, but the quality texture and infusion of flavour into the ragu. The quality of the pasta, the cheese, the oil, and the fresh herbs can be the star.
Authenticity, origin and provenance is a fiercely contested debate in Italy, academics and throughout the food world. This is a healthy, fruitful and ultimately beneficial dispute to the discovery of old traditional cooking styles, but also be the catalyst for invention and dynamic innovation.
At Punto we are trying to achieve an authentic Italian experience. We are confident in our style whilst realising It is not possible to make it like everyone’s mamma! We are confident in using fresh and local ingredients where possible, and also the best imported and premium authentic touches where necessary. Although modern and forward thinking on our menu, our ethos is old fashioned family service.
We would love to welcome you to our grand opening September.