Authentic Italian Cuisine: Where Americans Go Wrong Pt.1

Though the late 1800s-early 1900s marked the boom of the popularity of Italian cuisine in the United States, with the immigration of many Italian immigrants into America, the authentic recipes these immigrants had brought over from the ‘mother land’ have significantly changed with the passing of time. Many of these recipes can no longer be considered ‘Italian’ at all, but rather ‘Italian-American’.

I remember the first time I looked at a menu on Italian soil, overcome by a feeling of ignorance and shock to how little I knew about a cuisine that was once as familiar as a hamburger and french fries. Despite language barriers, there were pasta varieties I’d never even heard of, sauces that seemed completely alien, and pizza toppings that seemed completely insane. It was at this moment I realized, “We Americans have got it all wrong”.

In America, “Italian” dishes that we cherish include:(just to name a few)

  • Spaghetti and Meat Balls
  • Pasta Alfredo
  • Some of our favorite pizza toppings: Chicken, Pineapple, Canadian bacon, broccoli, BBQ sauce

Reading through an Italian food news site ( I came across an article about Spaghetti Bolognese, a dish that doesn’t exist in Italy.. according to the article. But why?

‘Bolognese’ is a type of meat sauce that comes from the city of Bologna, here in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Spaghetti is never served with this type of sauce, but rather Tagliatelle a cut of pasta typical  from Bologna

Tagliatelle Pasta

For a list of other pasta varieties click here

Anyway, though SPAGHETTI alla bolognese doesn’t exist… (and surely spaghetti and meatballs will never ever ever ever appear on a menu in Italy) Tagliatelle alla bolognese is one of the most delicious and typical dishes to come out of the city of Bologna.

Tagliatelle are thin strips of egg-based pasta, similar to fettucine

Tagliatelle alla bolognese

Americans, let us transform the “Italian” food that we eat in the United States.

Here is a recipe for traditional Tagliatelle alla bolognese

This is the beginning of a huge transformation in American eating, I feel it in my limbs!!!

3 thoughts on “Authentic Italian Cuisine: Where Americans Go Wrong Pt.1

  1. djkrysa

    🙂 Nice post.

    One point about spaghetti with meatballs. The recipe is quite authentically Italian. What the Americans do wrong is eat them together on the same plate. An Italian would use some of the sauce to dress the pasta as a “primo” and then have the meatballs as the “secondo”.

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