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Italian cuisine is popular all around the world, and spaghetti and pasta sauce are some of the most beloved Italian dishes. But did you know that there are significant differences between northern and southern Italian spaghetti sauce? Northern Italian spaghetti sauce is usually made with fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and basil. On the other hand, southern Italian spaghetti sauce is richer and more complex, often including ingredients like onions, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Additionally, northern Italian spaghetti sauce is usually served with thinner pasta like spaghetti, while southern Italian spaghetti sauce is often paired with thicker pasta like fettuccine. Understanding these differences can help you appreciate the nuances of Italian cuisine and choose the perfect sauce for your next spaghetti dish.

Italy is home to many different regions, each with its unique cuisine. If you're wondering which region of Italy uses dairy and chicken stock in their spaghetti sauce, the answer is Emilia-Romagna. This region, located in Northern Italy, is renowned for its rich and flavorful cuisine, and its spaghetti sauce is no exception. Emilia-Romagna's spaghetti sauce, known as rag alla bolognese, is made with a combination of ground beef and pork, along with tomato paste, onions, celery, carrots, and a touch of dairy, typically milk or cream. The addition of chicken stock adds even more depth of flavor to this delicious sauce. If you're a fan of hearty and savory pasta dishes, then be sure to try Emilia-Romagna's rag alla bolognese the next time you're in Italy or cooking at home.

This recipe is prepared over low heat to the point where the onions and garlic nearly dissolve in the butter and olive oil.

EQUIPMENT: 5-quart stockpot, 1-quart saucepan


  • 1 pound tomatoes oven roasted at 400ᵒF for about 1 hour, or canned tomatoes
  • 1 large onion minced.
  • 7 cloves garlic mince fine.
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped.
  • 1 cup Italian Pinot Grigio
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup fresh cream or half-n-half.


Preheat the oven to 400ᵒF. Remove the stems of the tomato, cut an X on the top, and roast for about 1 hour.  Set aside to cool, skin, and remove the seeds. Or you can use a pound of canned or peeled tomatoes.

In the 5-quart stockpot sauté onion and garlic in butter and olive oil over low heat at 200ᵒF until the onions and garlic begin to dissolve into the butter and olive oil for about 30 minutes. Add the fresh basil, parsley, and rosemary, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

Increase the heat to Medium 375ᵒF and add the wine. Simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes until the alcohol burns off then reduce the heat to low 200ᵒF.

While the sauce is simmering, in the 1-quart saucepan over medium-low meat 225ᵒF melt the butter and add the flour. Whisking occasionally cook the flour and butter until it is cooked and begins to smell like cookies, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock and whisk until the sauce thickens. Add the thickened chicken stock to the sauce and whisk to combine. Add the cream and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.

This sauce is perfect for all kinds of pasta. Top with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

NOTE: to homogenize your sauce without aerating it, consider pulsing it in a blender or food processor. This method will help you achieve a smooth and consistent texture without introducing any unwanted air. Additionally, to enhance the flavor of your sauce, try letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator in a sealed vacuum container. This will allow the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more delicious and cohesive final product.