Chef shares little-known spaghetti bolognese mistake everyone makes

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Chef Sophie Nahmad from Gousto has revealed that we’ve all been making a big mistake when cooking spaghetti bolognese.

While it may be one of the UK’s most popular weeknight dishes, a subtle yet significant mistake often goes unnoticed when cooking the meal: the choice of pasta.

According to Sophie, using spaghetti is a big no-no, as the most authentic pasta shape is, in fact, tagliatelle.

She says that Italians traditionally use tagliatelle due to its wider, flatter shape, allowing the meat in bolognese to cling to the pasta, according to the Daily Record.

However, it doesn’t mean it’s the optimal pasta shape for every kind of sauce.

Sophie explained: “Any meat-based ragu-style sauce will pair well with this tagliatelle, such as this spicy sausage and creamy tomato sauce recipe, so maybe it’s time to switch up your dinner-time traditions and try something new.”

She continued: “Despite its widespread popularity, spaghetti is not the ideal pasta for bolognese sauce.

“Its slender, cylindrical shape and smooth surface make it less effective at holding onto the thick, meaty sauce, which tends to slide off rather than cling to the pasta.”

Seasoned chefs, including Italian culinary experts, have long advocated for using tagliatelle in spaghetti Bolognese. Chef Antonio Carluccio, a renowned authority on Italian cuisine, famously declared that “bolognese sauce should never be served with spaghetti. It should be with tagliatelle.”

Spaghetti is better suited to other sauces though, specifically those that are lighter – think pesto or arriabiata.

The Gousto chef elaborated: “This is the nation’s second favourite pasta shape after Fusilli and a staple you’ll find in most UK kitchens.

“When it comes to any long noodle pasta shape, including varieties such as Linguini or Capellini, it’s best to stick to lighter sauces.”

Other pasta varieties like gnocchi have their unique uses. Made from potato, gnocchi can be either boiled or fried. Frying will give a crispier texture on the outside with a fluffy middle, and this pairs deliciously with a mushroom and sage sauce, according to Sophie.

She said: “Gnocchi is very versatile, but traditionally cooked with a creamy tomato sauce to compliment the fluffy texture. A Gousto favourite is this creamy chorizo and spinach Gnocchi.”

The chef continued: “On to Britain’s favourite pasta shape, the classic Fusilli. The grooves in this shape lend it to heavier sauces, where it will hold the flavour.”

Conchiglie, Rigatoni or Penne are another popular range of pasta types, for which the ideal sauce pairing would use heavy cream or be rich with vegetables or meat. Pasta bakes are also a great option for this shape according to Sophie.

She said: “This 10-Min Chicken, Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Fusilli is a quick and easy mid-week dinner that will satisfy everyone around the table.”

Farfalle is a kind of pasta easily recognised by its distinctive bow shape which pairs well with a light lemon and garlic sauce, or a simple creamy base. Sophie warned Make sure to cook it al dente so it has a slight bite; this will ensure it doesn’t lose its shape.”

Pappardelle originates from Tuscany, this shape is similar to Tagliatelle but slightly wider. The Gousto chef said: “Again, it would be a great pairing with a meat-based sauce like a pork ragu or Bolognese.

“Fish is another good choice with a pasta shape like this, such as crab or cod in a light, lemony sauce. Because this pasta has a larger body, it won’t be overshadowed by the fish.”



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