Bolognese Pasta exists in its own space. It’s a starter pasta, almost like a gateway drug into a world of other types of warm, tantalising Italian noodles. But those others are complex. Carbonara has plenty going on with its eggs and milk, while Arrabiata is doesn’t have that mass an appeal due to its spiciness. Some might argue that a good Aglio Olio can put any other plate of shame, but I think we can all agree that a solid Bolognese doesn’t just satisfy the tummy. Truly good Bolognese can warm an icy heart and make everything alright.
It is with this thought, that I approach Bolognese at any restaurant. If I’m in an Italian restaurant, I’ll ask for a Bolognese-based pasta, even when I’ve been told that “Bolognese pastas aren’t really considered Italian Pasta”. It’s sort of my benchmark for everything else. After all, good food touches the heart, and there’s almost no better way to measure that passion than with pasta.
While Pasta Brava & Perbacco might have a foundational advantage, Jamie’s Italian has a very simple adaptation: Use high-quality tagliatelle pasta and marry that with fresh ingredients. After all, the restaurant’s philosophy is that the freshness of the ingredients maketh the dish.
The flavours of the dish jump out. The thick (as it should be) tomato sauce started out sweet, then turned oh-so-slightly acidic as it hit the back of my tongue. i liked the fact that the sauce was just enough to coat the noodles. Of course, when the waiter placed 2 spoonfuls of shredded cheese on top before I started eating, I knew it was going to be a treat. The slow-cooked minced pork and beef combination did it’s job, which was to pile onto the savoury sensations that the dish is unabashed about.
But while the star of the show is the sauce, the workhorse behind this dish is the tagliatelle itself. Broad, thick and flat, it captures just enough of the sauce and meat. The key thing here is that I ate the entire dish using only a fork, and nothing else. That’s a testament to the pasta, and the chef’s sense of timing.
It’s hard to do the perfect Bolognese, but Jamie’s Italian certain came close. When it comes to comfort food, it’s a hard act to follow. The next time you’re feeling like a little bit of warmth in your tummy, consider this dish for dinner. It might just warm your heart as well.
What: Tagliatelle Bolognese
Where: Jamie’s Italian (Vivocity)
How Much: $18.50/$26.00
P.S: In case you were wondering what spurred me to write about Pasta: It was The Silver Chef’s very excellent Pasta Snob article.