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Trattoria Annamaria — a tribute to the art of making fresh pasta

article Trattoria Annamaria.2

Wandering through the narrow streets of the medieval city of Bologna, under the shade of one of its famous porticos, is where you'll find Trattoria Annamaria. The restaurant takes its name from the owner, a woman who has become an institution in the city, and whose fresh pasta is a must-try when visiting the city.
Defying Italian gender conventions, Annamaria set up her own business more than 30 years ago. And she has been serving her customers with excellent care since then, confronting all the challenges that female entrepreneurs have to face.
What you should expect when entering this typical trattoria is to eat the same fresh, quality food you would have eaten in the countryside around Bologna more than 50 years ago.


'Making fresh pasta is something that no one does anymore. It takes a long time, and it's certainly expensive,' says Annamaria.
'It's the same when it comes to the ingredients. I know I could buy them from the supermarket and save a lot of money. But I've been buying them from the same vendors since I opened the restaurant. They're all small farmers. They call me and tell me they've harvested their potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and the day after I'm serving the same potatoes in my restaurant. I feel like we're helping each other. I'm supporting their small businesses and they're supporting mine, providing me with natural and quality products.'


Her recipes require the same precise care.
'The art of making pasta is handed down from generation to generation. All these recipes come from our culinary tradition, and that's why I'll never change them,' Annamaria continued.


One delicious example is the recipe for Annamaria's tagliatelle which hasn't changed since she opened the restaurant in 1985. In the best tradition of Bolognese cuisine, the pasta has to be stretched in extremely thin strips with a rough texture.
'Then you have to cook them for exactly 37 seconds,' explains Annamaria. Categorically served with ragù, Annamaria's tagliatelle is a marvellous example of Bolognese traditional cuisine.


Likewise, if you decide to try the homemade gelato, you should probably know that the recipe for this delicious dessert comes directly from the 19th century.
'I persuaded a friend to pass it on to me,' Annamaria says, and smiles. 'The recipe had been handed down to my friend by her grandmother, and she wanted to keep it secret as people often do with beautiful things. But you can't keep something like that secret. You need to share beautiful things; you need to share good food. That's what I told her. And now everyone who comes to my restaurant can eat this superb gelato. I like to think I'm doing something good for people. I'm looking after their health by giving them quality food. This is the force that drives me every day.'

Edited by Carola Ludovica Giannotti

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