Bologna is called “La Grassa” (The Fat) for a reason: the amazing food! In this area (near small Parma, a Unesco site) Italians come first to eat good food, and second to visit the city. Do you want to eat in Bologne? Here are the 5 best traditional foods that you should eat! So you will can eat and discover the beautiful gastronomic capital of Italy! There are so many incredible things to eat that one life won’t be enough, but here are 5 things you can’t miss if you visit Bologna.
1. Gnocco Fritto
The gnocco fritto is basically fried pizza dough you can eat with different types of dried meat and salami. You can get it basically everywhere and it is served hot. This way, everything you put on it will melt. Try it with some pesto alla bolognese and you will go to the heaven. This pesto is not made from basil; it’s made with lard, rosemary and spices.
2. Tagliatelle alla bolognese
Don’t call it spaghetti! This pasta may look like a spaghetti bowl, but it’s a totally different dish. The pasta is made with white flour and egg and it is mixed with a special sauce. The ragu is made with beef, bacon meat, onion, carrots, tomato sauce, beef stock and of course, red wine. Even if it’s a dish that is cooked at home, you can eat it in one of the many Bolognese osterias.
3. Mortadella (or bologna)
Called worldwide “bologna”, here in Bologna this kind of sausage is called Mortadella and it’s a very serious stuff. You can buy the mortadella with some pistachio in it, and it is served with fresh bread so you can make a panino on your own. When to eat it? Anytime! Grab some slices of mortadella for a quick lunch or have it for an aperitivo while drinking some good red wine. It’s always perfect!
Tortellini, different from ravioli, is a filled egg type of pasta. With the shape of a small navel, the best tortellini are hand made and served with meat stock. Around the city you will find it served in many restaurants, but one of the best places where try them is Osteria dell’Orsa, in the city center of Bologna. Prepare yourself to find a long line, but after tasting a bowl of tortellini, it will be well worth the wait!
Even if you can eat good lasagna everywhere in Italy, it’s here in Bologna that you eat the best. Legend has it that the shape of this pasta reminds one of the towers of Bologna, tall and cubic. The ingredients are similar to tagliatelle al ragu. Slices of egg pasta are interspersed by ragu alla bolognese and besciamella. Anyone will tell that you that their own lasagna recipe is the best, but the truth is that all lasagne are amazing. Just don’t eat it all the time. Lasagna is the sunday pasta but you can also order it weekdays both for lunch or dinner. Just don’t ask for lasagna at breakfast or for an aperitivo otherwise people will look at you like you are crazy.