Blog: Dave Mancini

The Detroit Free Press recently voted Supino's Pizzeria tops in Metro Detroit (no small feat, given the competition; GQ ranks Detroit as third-best pizza city in the U.S.). Dave Mancini, Supino's chef and owner, gives the Kitchen Confidential tour of his Eastern Market gourmet pizza place and dishes on his favorite local businesses.

Post 4: The Bolognese Rant

The menu at my pizzeria is very simple. It's mostly pizza with a simple salad, two types of pasta, and a dessert.  We make the pasta in house as well. It's a manicotti or cannelloni style, but instead of using pasta sheets we make crespelle (francophones would call them crepes) just like my aunts do. They're filled with either a ricotta-egg-parm blend or bolognese sauce. When I opened I knew I wanted to do bolognese, and do it authentically. It's almost impossible to get an authentic version of the sauce. Just throwing meat into a sauce does not make it bolognese.  In fact, red sauce with meat is more akin to a neapolitan ragu.

The name comes from the town of Bologna in northern Italy.  People in Italy give great weight to food and food traditions. Case in point: properly made tagliatelle, a broad flat noodle, when raw should be 7mm in width, exactly 1/12,270th the height of the town's Asinelli tower (that's 319 feet, just to save you from doing the math).  The people take their namesake sauce just as seriously, so seriously in fact that the recipe is framed and hung on the wall of the town hall! One thing that recipe does NOT include is a lot of tomato.  Just a bit of tomato paste.  The sauce is NEVER red – it's rich and concentrated, slowly simmering coarsely ground meats with a bit of pancetta and some mirepoix in wine, stock and dairy, either whole milk or cream.  When it's done it is a light orange color. This makes for an awesomely soul-satisfying winter meal.

I've had some good meat sauces that are red, I just wish restaurants would name them accurately. Bolognese is to pasta sauce what the Beatles are to pop music.  So stop calling that Lady Gaga song 'I Am the Walrus'.  It's just not the same thing.

*Supino's will be closed from March 14-29 so Dave can do some R&D in Italy.