This rigatoni bolognese recipe freezes beautifully. You can make the sauce up to two days ahead of time for an easy weeknight meal.
One of the ways I like to show people that I care is by making food for them. Today I was inspired to make a comforting dish.
In this case it’s for our staff at Loka.
Although movies and televisions portray restaurant life as mornings in farmers markets and evenings chatting with guests it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The kitchen arrives at 1pm and works at least 12 hours straight.
Our servers begin coming in at 3:30pm to catch up with what the kitchen has made and clean the restaurant dining room and guest bathrooms for a 5pm opening.
It’s a glamorous life. So when Catelli asked us to share a story where pasta reunites us my first thought was Loka.
With a small team it’s a race against time every day to be ready for opening. But there’s one moment in the day where everyone stops and instead of being coworkers trying to get ready everyone becomes human again.
While pausing to eat there are 5-10 short minutes where people don’t talk about work, they laugh and joke around while eating. It’s a special but short lived one between the servers and the kitchen.
The majority of the time it’s pasta, which gives everyone enough energy to get through the next 8 hours. The pasta shape of choice at Loka is penne. So today I wanted to surprise everyone with something different – veal rigatoni bolognese
Spaghetti Bolognese is Not Italian
Most people are familiar with spaghetti bolognese – which I learned in Bologna is not an Italian dish at all. It simply doesn’t exist. In Bologna there is a tagliatelle al ragout which is a fresh pasta with a meat sauce.
Legends has it that after World War II soldiers returned and asked for this dish from Bologna – but American restaurants used dry pasta so they altered things a bit and spaghetti bolognese was born.
For this reason I feel perfectly comfortable making a modern swap on this traditional recipe. I’ve swapped out spaghetti for rigatoni. Rigatoni is Sicilian where you see thicker sauces and the rigid lines make for great crevices to lock in the sauce.
Rigatoni Bolognese with Ground Veal
This recipe is part of the Catelli 150th Anniversary Recipe Collection you can find more recipes here. This recipe uses ground veal but you could use any ground meat if you don’t eat veal.
Disclosure: This chicken rigatoni bolognese post was a paid partnership with Catelli Pasta. We are proud to be part of their #CatelliFamilies for a second year by sharing our favourite pasta recipes. You can find our recipes on the Catelli website here.