Whenever I mention going to Bologna, people have one of two responses: (a) what why? and (b) oh man yes. The second one always comes from fellow food lovers. Bolonga is delicious and it is also relatively affordable.
Our luckiest Bologna moment happened when we stumbled into Trattoria della Santa overheated and disappointed (because the restaurant we were heading to didn’t exist). Trattoria della Santa saved the day.
It was packed with Italian families all gesturing, laughing, and eating. And when I say eating, I mean EATING. Each Italian somehow finished a plate of pasta and an entire fish and a bowl of gelato and four cappuccinos. I am still in awe.
We ordered Bologna’s specialty: Tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce. The homemade pasta was cooked super al dente, which worked well with the soft, meat sauce. The dense sauce had a comforting, rich tomato flavor.
We also ordered the Tortelloni with prosciutto in a cream sauce. It was too delicious. The homemade tortellonis were cheesy, which added to the creamy richness of the sauce, which was cut by the saltiness of the prosciutto.
Gelato from La Sorbetteria Castiglione was another Bologna winner. An online reviewer described it as almost mystical and he was right. The gelateria somehow manages to serve gelato flavors that are both complex and comforting.
Our final Bolognese meal was at Ristorante Diana. Mario Batali once said that Diana’s lasagne verde brought him to tears so, naturally, we had to try it.
I understand Batali’s emotional response. There were about a million thin layers of spinach noodles separated by a deep meat sauce and topped off with creamy, creamy cheese.
Diana’s Tortellini in Brodo (another Bolonga classic) was also delicious. The small tortellinis were perfectly cooked and the simple, light dish was a great way to end our time there.
Above is the map of the route Zach – one of my best friends – and I took through Europe. We ate three usually delicious meals a day on a budget of 40 euros a day. If you’d like to see more pictures of our Fooducated Euro Trip, check out the Fooducated Facebook page. I’ll be writing about the rest of the cities in the coming days. Also, keep posted for recipes inspired by the dishes we ate.