Food and Drink


The Search for Secret Bolognese

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There’s no denying that Spaghetti Bolognese is a universally loved dish. Everyone has a take on how spag bol should taste – some like it more tomatoey while others insist otherwise. Also up for debate are whether the sauce should be stirred through, the best types of meat to use and so on.

But how do you feel about bolognese with things other than spaghetti? I took it upon myself to find Melbourne’s most non-traditional and unique bolognese dishes.

The Spaghetti Bolognese Meat Pie, $12
Red Door Corner Store, 70 Mitchell St, Northcote
Red Door does a spaghetti bolognese meat pie as a special, on occasion. They look a treat and are pretty damn fine. The spaghetti was cut into bite-sized pieces for easy eating and the bolognese was wonderfully flavoured.

I was concerned the bolognese would be too runny like a Sloppy Joe leaving the pastry soggy, but the sauce was thick enough to hold it’s shape which left the perfect pastry with a wonderful crunch. Bolognese and pasty is a great combination.

The Bolognese Chicken Parmigiana, $26
Budpest, 273 Glen Huntly Rd, Elsternwick
Elsternwick’s Budapest serves traditional Hungarian food – they’re known for their schnitzels and the veal goulash there ain’t bad either. But their chicken parma with bolognese sauce? It was full on.

The schnitzel had a perfect crust and the bolognese topping was incredibly rich. The stringy tasty cheese on the final layer tied it all together cutting through the richness of the bolognese. Give it a go, but be warned – it is an intense meal.

The humble spud with bolognese topping, $10.50
Spud Bar, various locations
Here’s what I’ve learned: bolognese goes well with any carb and potato is no exception. Next time you’re craving a spud, try Spud Bar’s ‘Home Style Bolognese’ combination consisting of bolognese, cheese and a selection of fresh vegetables.

Bolognese, cheese and potato are a match made in heaven and the vegetables add freshness.

Spaghetti Bolognese Pizza, $17.90 for a large
Topolinos, 87 Fitzroy St, St. Kilda
When eating Italian I sometimes find myself having an internal battle – pizza vs. pasta. Topolinos offer a wonderful compromise – a pizza with spaghetti bolognese topping. Ka-Ching!

This pizza is a taste sensation but not for the calorie conscious – talk about a carb overload! The spaghetti bolognese topping was flavoursome and true. The cheesy layer melted into the pasta and pizza base. I liked the crunch from a few of the spaghetti strands, which formed while in the pizza over. It was like a spag bol pasta bake on top of a pizza base.

What more could you want from life?

Follow Sarah’s bolognese quest at

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