As well-put by Sissy, “I’m beginning to turn into a noodle.” Yes, we have probably been eating too much pasta, but who cares? We’re on vacation – IN ITALY!
Our first night in Bologna was no exception. I made dinner reservations for us at Ristorante al Sangiovese, on the edge of the city center. Though it was nearly a twenty minute walk from our apartment, it was well worth it; and the walk home helped us work off all the pasta.
After some careful consideration, and the inability to make a clear decision, we chose to share three different Primi plates: tortelloni (the larger type, typical of Bologna), lasagne (I had been talking about eating lasagne for a week) and maccheroni with pesto and prosciutto (the short noodle kind, not the large squares). When we ordered with the waitress, she was a bit surprised: “tre Primi???” I responded, “si, ho fame.” She giggled at us and walked away, only to bring back the bottle of Conde Rosado of Sangiovese that I ordered on this hot summer night. The wine was perfect, light in color for a Sangiovese, yet full of flavor and refreshing on the palate.
About ten minutes later, our pasta courses arrived and we were nearly drooling. Each pasta different in shape, texture, sauce and flavor – and each one perfect in every way. Tortelloni is traditional to Bolognese food. It’s traditionally stuffed with ricotta and served in a red sauce, which is exactly how it was served to us at Al Sangiovese. The lasagne was layered with spinach, cheese, sauce and beef and it melted in mouth. Last but not least, the pesto maccheroni was flavorful and the noodles cooked to perfection (al dente, the way I like it). The sauce was a lighter style pesto, and they served bits of tomato mixed with the prosciutto.
After a couple portions of each, we finished offs the lasagne first. Our waitress returned to take the plate and said “Tutto!” which means “all of it!” So we kept working at the pesto and Sissy took one for the team, while I tried to finish off the tortelloni. When she returned, she saw that we had one tortaloni left on the table, and she said “UNO!” while grinning through her teeth. I knew what I had to do. I took that tortelloni and ate it in one bite. And although it hurt for a little while, I knew it was the right choice in the end.
When in Bologna!