April 24, 2020

Ask A Chef: Rigatoni Alla Bolognese

Recipe: Alessandro Vianello

Chef Alessandro Vianello of Vancouver’s Ask for Luigi shares his recipe for Rigatoni alla Bolognese.

Q: Having grown up in Italy, I never order pasta Bolognese abroad — it’s just not something you do. This New Year’s Eve, however, I decided to be daring: I ordered the Rigatoni alla Bolognese at Ask for Luigi. I was blown away by the intensity of the flavors and the authenticity of the dish. It was, by far, the highlight of my night. Could you get me the recipe? — Marco, Vancouver

A: With family roots in northern Italy, Alessandro grew up with home-cooked bowls of pasta Bolognese. Now, he considers it his signature dish. At the restaurant, Alessandro starts his sauce with bone marrow to add flavor and richness. He assures us, though, that substituting canola oil for the marrow will give delicious results, too!


  • 1⁄3 cup bone marrow, removed from bone (about 100 g), or canola oil
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped onion
  • 1⁄2 cup peeled, coarsely grated carrot
  • 1⁄2 cup coarsely grated celery
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 100 g ground beef
  • 100 g ground pork
  • 100 g ground or finely chopped mortadella
  • 1⁄2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1⁄4 cup red wine
  • 796 mL can Italian plum tomatoes, puréed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped oregano
  • 454 g rigatoni
  • Parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil, for serving


Yield: Serves 4

Make Sauce

  1. In large sauté pan over medium heat, melt bone marrow. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic, and sauté for 8 minutes, or until vegetables are softened and lightly browned.
  2. Add tomato paste and stir to coat vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes, or until tomato paste has darkened and lost its harsh acidity.
  3. Turn heat to medium-high, add beef, pork and mortadella, and sauté for 6 minutes. Stir in rosemary.
  4. Add wine and stir to dissolve browned bits on bottom of pan. Cook for 1 minute, or until almost fully evaporated. Add tomatoes, turn heat to low and cook, partially covered, for 80 minutes, stirring frequently near the end, or until sauce is reduced to about 3 cups. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in oregano.

Cook Rigatoni & Serve

  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a bit of pasta water.
  2. Toss pasta in sauce, loosening with pasta cooking water as needed. Top with Parmesan and olive oil and serve.

Courtesy of Kitchen Table Restaurants


House & Home April 2020