Ultimate Guide on Where to Find the Top 3 Best Lasagna in Bologna, Italy
Lasagna. You’ve heard it before. It is one of the most iconic Italian dishes and famed worldwide. To this day it is nothing less than an Italian superstar of a dish.
Lasagna can be likened to a baked casserole made with wide flat pasta (always fresh when in Bologna) and layered with delicious fillings such as ragú, bechamel (traditionally made from a white roux – butter and flour in a 1:1 mixture and milk), vegetables and various cheeses.
Simply put, Lasagna reigns king over the world of pasta dishes and if you’re like us, it’s a MUST-TRY when venturing to Bologna, Italy. It probably doesn’t surprise you when we say that most every Italian region has its own variation of this beloved recipe. Today, Vincenzo’s Plate is joined by Tina Prestia, pastaia and blogger at Tina’s Table to bring you our findings as we ventured out to the streets of Bologna to find the best versions of this city’s traditional Lasagna Bolognese.
We’ll be going to three different places – a pasta shop, an osteria, and a restaurant. Keep reading to go behind the scenes with us and these places that I would describe as nothing less than magical.
Naldi (Pasta Fresca Naldi)
Our first stop on our mission to find the best Lasagna Bolognese in Bologa is Naldi, a pasta shop that sells fresh pasta you can take home and cook if you’re a local but also offers prepared carryout dishes so you can eat it on the street. There is a majestic church in the piazza nearby where you can sit on the steps in the shade of its vast glory or you can go to a café or bar, purchase some wine there and enjoy your pasta at their table.
Rolled by hand pasta, always fresh tortellini, you can truly tell that the people at Naldi are extremely passionate about their work as it shows in every way. One thing that makes Naldi’s traditional lasagna special is their combination method. They do not mix their hard cream with the ragu, resulting in a dish that’s really delicate and allows you to taste each flavor and feel each ingredient individually, not just a blended mixture of the two.
Coming from America, you might be surprised that there’s no mozzarella, no ricotta, and not an overwhelming amount of sauce. Instead, you’ll have delicious parmesan and bechamel, traditionally stacked in layers with all the flavors in the middle for a subtle, beautiful, perfectly Bologna style dish.
Described as “delicate, luscious, yet rich at the same time”, Naldi has really refined the art of all these yet bringing a complete balance in the end. If you haven’t tried this version of lasagna, be prepared for a life changing experience.
It’s hard to describe the charming atmosphere of Osteria Broccaindosso but if we tried, it’s pure warmth, old school and friendly. Osteria Broccaindosso is a simple, casual eatery serving up traditional home cooking in a cozy environment. There’s a backroom that gets full from time to time and it’s just an overall fun vibe.
The osteria style is more laid back than a typical restaurant. Its pub-like boisterous vibe offers a menu that is rustic with so much to choose from. Of course, we’re hunting down the best lasagna in Bologna so we ordered the classic Lasagna Bolognese!
Here they go around the tables serving freshly grated parmesano from a country kitchen bowl. Truly like home!
With the hot dish served, you’ll notice a very soft creaminess, more bechamel, and a craving satisfaction with the extra tomato. Here the same type of separate layers result in a more interesting experience and of course, the parmesan on top makes for something special! All of Bologna’s traditional lasagna is made with green spinach pasta. You might find yellow pasta out there somewhere, but you might be surprised to know, it’s actually pretty rare!
We definitely have to say Osteria Broccaindosso is on the list if you want to try one of the best lasagna’s in Bologna. However, if you want to be able to experience this, you have to know this local tip and plan ahead! Lasagna is not available every day at every single restaurant so call and plan ahead or go to a pasta shop like Sfoglia Rina that we visited previously as they generally have it (if they haven’t run out for the day).
Finally, we made our way to Sangiovese Ristorante for a classic, sit down, high dining experience. This ristorante is filled with charming people and an overall mood that speaks for itself. With designs and details displayed on each wall, beautiful wood features throughout, and (our favorite) endless wines to choose from, Sangiovese Ristorante is definitely one of the best places to stop for lasagna when in Bologna.
Hot and almost calling our names, this version was served with fresh parmesan that is intentionally melted on top before being brought out. You’re going to have a hard time waiting to say grace with just how good it smells – ha! Out of this world smell-good, and if you ask me, “You’ll be wanting a lasagna perfume!” Hint, hint Chanel…!
So fresh and moist that you don’t even need a knife, perfectly held together, separate layers, it’s rich and creamy and will almost have you guessing if there’s something secret added.
Sangiovese Ristorante says, “In each layer we have fresh pasta sheet, Bechamel, Bolognese Ragu, and and lots of Parmigiano Reggiano. We make 3-4 layers of pasta sheets.”
Not necessarily secret, but unbelievably good and beautiful to look at too, this version is the most delicate yet! Packed with flavor, incredibly rich, it’s absolutely one of the best Lasagnas in Bologna.
Our honest opinion of the best lasagna in Bologna?
With every single experience we had trying to find the best lasagna, the artist behind the dish truly shows through. No matter the version whether robust like home, luscious, rich, delicate, if you find yourself in Bologna, take the walk and try these three authentic Italian dining experiences! You will not regret it!
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