Along the streets of Via Pescherie Vecchie,Via degli Orefici, Via Clavature and Via Drapperie, there are greengrocers, fishmongers, housewares shops, bakeries and delicatessens selling the finest local specialties including Parmigiano-Reggiano, traditional balsamic vinegar and prosciutto (see a list of the highlights below). On Via Caprarie is Tamburini, the Rolls Royce of delis and a must for anyone who loves to eat.
Ragù alla bolognese (pasta with meat sauce)
This sauce is traditionally paired with fresh tagliatelle or layered with spinach flavoured pasta sheets and béchamel to make lasagne alla bolognese. For step-by-step illustrated instruction, see here.
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped, 1 carrot, washed, peeled, ends cut, and finely chopped
1 rib of celery, washed, ends cut, and finely chopped
50 grams pancetta
50 grams of butter
300 grams of lean beef (such as flank or arm clod), finely diced (can replace some of the beef with a mixture of veal, fresh sausage, and/or pork)
100 grams prosciutto
180 mls red wine
200 mls tomato puree (passata)
2-4 cups meat broth or water
100 grams chicken livers, finely chopped (optional for the squeamish)
120 mls milk or cream
- In a heavy-based sauté pan or dutch oven over low heat, slowly sauté the onion, carrot, celery, and pancetta in the butter until the vegetables are soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the beef and the prosciutto and stir with a wooden spoon until coloured.
- Add the wine and turn the heat up to medium.
- Cook until it has ⅔ evaporated, about 30 minutes. Then add the tomato, salt, and pepper.
- Turn the flame down to as low as possible and put the lid on askew so that steam can escape. Cook slowly, adding a bit of broth whenever the mixture seems to dry and stirring occasionally, for 3 hours.
- Add the chicken livers and the milk or cream and continue to slowly cook for 1 more hour.
- Add broth or water to keep the mixture from burning or drying out and stirring occasionally. The chopped meat will slowly dissolve into the sauce. When finished add salt and pepper to taste.
Food shops off Piazza Maggiore:
Paolo Atti & Figli
In business since 1880 serving local bread, certosino (a Christmas sweet made of honey, candied fruit, almonds and chocolate), ravioli dolci (sweet filled pastry) and torta di tagliatelle (almond and tagliatelle pasta tart).