The Ragù Rivalry: Bologna vs. Naples

Sep 24, 2021 447

BY: Massimo Lanari

Like an artwork, preparing a good ragù, or meat sauce, requires patience. In both Bologna and Naples, the lower classes created this sauce to maximize flavor from what little meat they could afford. But Italy has many ragùs.

French term

The name itself actually comes from France, where ragout refers to any stewed dish containing diced meat, fish, or vegetables. It isn’t clear when the term arrived in Italy, but ragù was well known to aristocrats from the Renaissance onwards, generally as a second course, and only later used to enhance pasta. Then it went from the tables of the upper classes to those of the general populace, and the term eventually extended to all Italian meat sauces.

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