The Most Authentic Bolognese
It's not that hard to guess, the best pasta Bolognese is prepared in – Bologna. If you ever find yourselves in this likeable little town, even for a layover, treat yourselves to the tastiest pasta you'll ever have, even though you are not hungry at all…
It only happened a few times that while travelling through Europe, we had a connecting flight with a long layover in Bologna. The city’s airport is tidy and pleasant, but just like the city itself – small. If you are trapped here for a few hours, you will be bored to death and, what is even worse, you won’t have anything to eat.
Isn’t it crazy being hungry in Italy?
If you are condemned to a layover in Bologna, don’t even think about it for a minute, but take a taxi to the city center. The ride takes only about 15 minutes (even during the day) and costs a reasonable sum of 15 euros. Now that you are in the center of Bologna, do the only reasonable thing – have the authentic Bolognese, the best in the world! Do it even if you happen to be in Bologna for any other reason. Bolognese in Bologna – it can’t be bad!
Actually, it can if you don’t approve of the suitable restaurant in which you will have the meal. The best domestic dishes are always prepared in small and unseemly restaurants, where tourists don’t frequent, only the home folk and we are here to reveal the best place in Bologna.
The restaurant you want (actually, have to) visit if you are in Bologna is a typical Italian ‘osteria’, i.e. a diner where the residents of Bologna come for their lunch break. It is called Osteria dell’Orsa and is located in one of the pedestrian alleys in the very city center. This is where the Bolognese eat the Bolognese!
How can you find Osteria dell’Orso? It’s easy – just ask anyone who is from Bologna to guide you. They don’t really speak English, but print out this image and show it to them. Alternatively, visit the restaurant’s web site and try to read the map yourselves. The address is Via Mentana 1.
The menu includes various dishes, but be sure to try their Bolognese. It will go down best with spaghetti or tagliatelle (pasta similar to spaghetti, only ‘flatter’). The image shows tagliatelle. To clarify for those who don’t understand, Bolognese is just the sauce which goes with pasta. It is made out of minced meat, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and other herbs… Sprinkle it with grated parmesan. Yum!
Other authentic delicacies to try here, which we recommend, are bruschetta and ricotta stuffed ravioli (young sheep cheese), and they love pouring Bolognese over it as well in Bologna. The Osteria dell’Orsa staff use only the pasta they make themselves.
A friend of mine, Damir, who is also a journalist, myself (and Bojan, who took the photo and is not on it) wanted the most authentic dish possible so we chose tagliatelle Bolognese. It costs 6 euros per serving. We estimate the taste at 60 euros per serving. It is incredible that someone can make such a simple dish unfathomably tastier than someone else can.
Fed and quenched, we took an hour-walk in the wonderful Bologna, stopped a taxi and returned to the airport, where we were greeted by nervous and hungry colleagues. They’ll know better next time…