Maybe it’s the bales of hay that dot the Emilian landscape like giant spools of golden thread or the salty Adriatic sea air that seasons the Romagnolo plains that first indicate you’ve entered an extraordinary place. Perhaps it’s the rows of shiny windows gleaning back at you with reflections of rosy Culatello and flaxen Parmigiano that say you’ve reached the land of milk and honey. Whatever the sign might be, it only takes one bite of a piping hot Lasagne Verde to believe you just might have reached heaven. With every aroma and delicious flavor, your senses will help you further appreciate the culinary might of one of Italy’s most delicious regions. Everything in Emilia-Romagna is coated in the fatty glow of happiness, and by happiness we mean the kind that comes from gorging on everything you’re not “supposed” to….lard, butter, cheese. You get the picture. Emilia-Romagna’s cuisine is a constant reminder of what happens when two regional cultures collide, leaving behind a culinary tradition that is as robust and diverse as any that can be found on Earth. From the hearty stick to your ribs, no going back, I’m in a food comma kind of deliciousness of Emilia, to the aromatic, herb infused, fire-roasted, plump with goodness poultry, fish and seafood of Romagna, the region’s specialities never disappoint. Situated between the Adriatic Sea, the Po River and the Appenine mountains, Emilia-Romagna is a veritable cradle of gastronomic civilization. From Aceto Balsamico (Balsamic vinegar) to Prosciutto di Parma, and buttery Mortadella to Parmigiano Reggiano, the undisputed King of Cheeses, eating your way through Emilia-Romagna is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Welcome a bit of Emilia-Romagna into your home tonight by preparing one of the region’s signature dishes, Tagliatelle alla Bolognese. Buon proseguimento!
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese
Recipe courtesy of www.ricettebolognagrasse.it
Ingredients and Preparation
For the ragù:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 ounce tomato paste
1/3 pound of finely chopped or ground pancetta
1/2 pound of ground beef
1/2 pound of ground pork
1 cup red wine
Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot and sauté in olive oil until the onions begin to turn golden and translucent. Add the ground pancetta, ground beef and ground pork. Salt and pepper the ingredients and cook over a high flame. Add the cup of red wine and cook until it evaporates. Add the tomato paste and a little bit of water, as needed, to create the sauce. Cook the sauce over low heat and simmer for 3 to 3 ½ hours.
For the Tagliatelle:
2 2/3 cups of flour (soft wheat flour works best)
A pinch of fine salt
Pour the flour onto a cutting board, creating a mound. Push down the center of the mound to create a crater in the middle. Pour the eggs into the crater, adding a pinch of salt, and beat the eggs lightly with a fork. Begin to slowly mix in the flour and gently incorporate by hand for 10-15 minutes until the mixture reaches a dough like consistency. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin being careful not to make it too thin, then let the sheet of dough rest until it is dry . Once dry, cut the dough into long strips about ½ a centimeter in width, thus creating the Tagliatelle shape.
Cook the Tagliatelle in boiling water that has been seasoned with an abundant amount of salt. Drain the pasta and mix with the ragù. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano to taste and enjoy!
About the author
Dejou Marano is Co-Founder of CountryBred and Founding Editor of The Bred Blog. Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Europe, Dejou seeks to bring the imagination and wonder of Europe to all travelers through her never-ending pursuit of undiscovered cultural gems and experiences, which she shares through her travel writing.
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