Boloñesa different in Mexico?

Santiago - 10-26-2023 at 10:21 AM

SWMBO had a odd misunderstanding, we guess, at a high-end restaurant last weekend in Guanajuato. They had a dozen or so pasta dishes and she ordered the boloñesa.

She was asked to choose a pasta which made sense but then asked to choose the meat. Pork, beef or chicken. Kinda odd as Bolognese is generally ground beef but ok, she says beef. Then she is asked what kind of sauce and the waiter points to the menu (in both languages) that has 4 sauces such as pesto, marinara, parmesan, garlic. She said she didn't want any of those sauces on her Bolognese, just Bolognese. The waiter did not know what to do and kept insisting she pick one of the sauces. She eventually gave up and ordered something else.

Is Boloñesa and Bolognese not the same thing?

RFClark - 10-26-2023 at 10:53 AM


In our travels around Mexico we have discovered that even with traditional Sonoran style dishes there’s quite a spread between what you get in the US and what you get in Mexico!

Italians prepare Bolognese which is a local ragù (stew) with both beef and pork, plus some milk. American restaurants tend towards marinara sauce with ground beef and sometimes pork, usually without the milk.

Guanajuato City is very old and somewhat European. Sounds like you found a place that follows the Italian tradition more closely. See below.

The biggest difference between Italian Bolognese and American meat sauce is the ratio of meat to tomato. While bolognese is technically a meat sauce (or as they say in Italy, ragù) It differs from American meat sauce because it has a higher ratio of beef to tomato, making it much thicker. It’s also creamier as it’s made with a touch of milk. Another difference is that pasta bolognese is not made with spaghetti. It is made with heartier pasta that can hold the weight of such a meaty sauce, like tagliatelle, pappardelle, or rotini.

[Edited on 10-26-2023 by RFClark]