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Ina Garten’s Decision to Swap Spaghetti for Bolognese

Why Ina Garten Ditches The Spaghetti For Bolognese

Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, is a culinary icon. Her recipes and cooking tips have inspired countless home cooks around the world. While spaghetti is a classic pasta dish that most of us love, Garten has a surprising preference for ditching the traditional spaghetti when it comes to her Bolognese sauce. Let’s delve into the reasons why she makes this unconventional choice.

1. A Different Kind of Pasta

As a seasoned chef, Ina Garten has a keen eye for taste and texture. She believes that using a thicker pasta, such as tagliatelle or pappardelle, complements the rich and hearty flavors of her Bolognese sauce. The wider and more robust strands of these pastas allow them to hold onto the sauce, creating a more indulgent and satisfying eating experience.

2. A Balanced Meat-to-Pasta Ratio

Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce that traditionally includes ground beef, pork, or veal. It’s a deliciously meaty sauce that can overpower delicate spaghetti noodles. By using a thicker pasta, Garten ensures that the meat in her Bolognese sauce remains in focus, creating a well-balanced dish where every ingredient shines.

3. A Saucier Experience

Another reason Garten opts for tagliatelle or pappardelle is the way these pastas absorb the sauce. Their wider surface area allows for a greater absorption of the rich flavors of the Bolognese sauce, ensuring that each bite is packed with deliciousness. The sauce clings to the pasta, coating it thoroughly and creating a saucier experience that satisfies the palate.

4. Aesthetic Appeal

As any food lover knows, presentation is a crucial element of a memorable dining experience. Garten understands the importance of visual appeal and the role it plays in enticing the appetite. The broad, flat strands of tagliatelle or pappardelle add a touch of elegance to the dish, making it look more sophisticated and inviting. The combination of vibrant sauce, thick pasta, and garnished with fresh herbs creates a visually stunning plate.

5. Showcasing Regional Authenticity

Bolognese sauce is a classic Italian dish that originates from Bologna, a city in the Emilia-Romagna region. Ina Garten’s choice to use tagliatelle or pappardelle instead of spaghetti is a nod to the traditional regional pairing. By embracing these local flavors and customs, Garten pays homage to the authentic roots of Bolognese cuisine and further enhances the overall dining experience.

6. Personal Preference

Like any chef, Ina Garten has her own personal preferences when it comes to cooking and flavor combinations. Through her years of experience and expertise, she has developed a palate that appreciates the unique qualities of tagliatelle or pappardelle with Bolognese sauce. Her choice to ditch the spaghetti for these alternative pastas is simply a matter of personal preference and serves as a testament to her culinary individuality.


Ina Garten, the beloved Barefoot Contessa, sets herself apart once again by ditching the traditional spaghetti and opting for tagliatelle or pappardelle when preparing her Bolognese sauce. By doing so, she brings a new layer of complexity, texture, and authenticity to this classic Italian dish. Garten’s choice is a testament to her culinary expertise, personal preferences, and her unwavering commitment to creating dishes that are visually stunning, delicious, and thoughtfully balanced. So, the next time you prepare Bolognese sauce, why not follow in the footsteps of the Barefoot Contessa and try out these alternative pastas yourself?


Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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