Spaghetti bolognese has been ruined by the British, says Antonio Carluccio

We're using far too many ingredients, apparently

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Spaghetti bolognese has been ruined by the British and it now tastes nothing like the original, according to top Italian chef Antonio Carluccio.

The 79-year-old founder of the Carluccio's restaurant chain said our interpretation of the classic dish from Bologna is “not at all right” because we pack it full of herbs when there shouldn't actually be any. Italians don't even use spaghetti, he said, where the dish is known as tagliatelle bolognese and can be made with just eight ingredients.

“When you think Italy, you start to put oregano, basil, parsley, garlic, which is not at all right," he told the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

“You should do this: oil, onion, two types of meat – beef and pork – and you practically brown this, then you put the tomatoes, then a bit of wine, including tomato paste, and then you cook it for three hours.

“That is it. Nothing else. Grate parmesan on the top and Bob’s your uncle.”

He's not the first chef to knock some of Britain's more freewheeling interpretations of the dish.

Spaghetti bolognese has come a long way from its simple roots in Italy (Getty/iStockphoto)

Massimo Bottura, the chef at three-Michelin-star Modena restaurant Osteria Francescana has said there are “some crazy versions” around. And Rome-based chef Alfredo Tomaselli  has said some versions in Britain have “nothing at all” to do with the original.

The dish's official recipe – drawn up by the Italian Academy of Cooking at the request of the region's Chamber of Commerce – contains only beef, pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, white wine and milk.

The reason for tagliatelle over spaghetti is because the sauce sticks better to flatter pasta.

Carluccio also railed against foodie trends during his talk, saying: “In Italy food is not fashionable, I hate the word fashionable for food because one day it will be lentils that are fashionable, the other day they are not.

“Food is all the same, you cook it when you have it, when it is at the peak of the season and knowing the cuisine well, you cook it at any time that you want not simply because it is just a fashionable thing.”