Via Aristotile Fioravanti 45/b, 40129 Bologna
Le golosità di nonna Aurora (in English it would sound “Grandma Aurora specialties”…), or simply Trattoria Nonna Aurora is one of the few typical restaurants in Bologna I go to when I want to feel at home. There I can really eat the way my mother and grandparents used to do.
If you arrive at Bologna by train, you can easily find this typical trattoria by taking advantage of the rear exit of the central station. Look for “via de’ Carracci” directions and in 5 minutes you will be there, by feet!
The outside is not really promising, but when you enter the owners at the bar will welcome you, with their heavy bolognese accent, and you will be surprised by huge photos of local monuments. These old-style, typical restaurants in Bologna we are so proud of.
Whenever I enter Le golosità di nonna Aurora, my first thought is: “lasagne verdi or onion and ham tagliatelle? that is the question!”. Very poetic, isn’t it?
This time I was lucky, we were a bunch of colleagues for a business lunch, so we were able to try some fresh pasta. Yes, first of all, every pasta here is homemade, fresh “pasta all’uovo”. This means that, behind the scenes, nonna Aurora and her team of “sfogline” work with their hands eggs, flour and water to create tortellini, tagliatelle, lasagne. An idea of what I mean can be found here: https://bit.ly/2B1CYBh, where “fresh pasta” is described. God bless sfogline and this noble art, that is taught, not only from one generation to another, but also in classes you can attend.
The four primi, of course made of fresh pasta, were:
- onion and ham tagliatelle: a classical bolognese recipe, but delivered at its top. I often hear objections like “I don’t like / I cannot digest onion”: forget them! This mix is absolutely delicious, give it a try and you will be surprised and maybe consider this as the best possible sauce for tagliatelle. But I want to be honest: you will rarely find this level of the sauce, even in typical restaurants in Bologna.
- Lasagne verdi (green lasagne): yes, green! Usually, in typical restaurants in Bologna, lasagne are green (note: yes, lasagne is plural), the color of the spinach added to the dough. Nonna Aurora serves the best lasagne I know. Just in case you wonder how their ragù is made… follow the link to the recipe. Tip: always ask for it when you enter, since they cannot be prepared at the moment, they will finish during busy days. You better book your portion as soon as possible!
- Tortellini. The king of the fresh pasta from Bologna, tortellini can be served with the broth, like these ones (tortellini in brodo), or with milk cream (tortellini alla panna). In this case, after being cooked in the broth, they are sauteed with milk cream. My colleague was impressed by this dish, and yes, he was right! Tip: I recommend adding some Parmigiano Reggiano over tortellini in brodo, it will enhance the taste by melting in the hot broth. And if you want to learn more about Parmigiano Reggiano, read my guide dedicated to this incredible cheese!
- Tagliatelle al ragù (ragù tagliatelle). For sure the most famous bolognese sauce abroad, ragù (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragù) is not only a key component of lasagne, but also the main choice for tagliatelle. I usually have this when I eat tagliatelle at a restaurant in Bologna or at home, but … nonna Aurora is simply too good with the onion and ham sauce! Also tagliatelle al ragù welcome Parmigiano Reggiano on top.
Then we had two secondi:
- stewed meatballs and stuffed zucchini. This is one of the very typical bolognese meat dishes, the kind I have grown up with, but it is becoming more and more rare to find them in a restaurant in Bologna. Meatballs, made with beef meat and bread, and zucchini stuffed with the same minced meat, are slowly cooked in tomato sauce. The result is brilliant, and bread is never enough for a scarpetta (the word we use to describe the way Italians mop the plate with bread).
- Roasted sausage and potatoes. A classical and very easy dish, where all is about the ingredients quality. Very tasty, always a good choice.
I will be back soon, for some additional specialties by nonna Aurora:
- the gnocco fritto , one of the best you can find in Emilia-Romagna (i.e. … worldwide 🙂 ).
- The typical bolognese dessert, zuppa inglese, whose name would sound like “English soup”… read here to know why: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuppa_Inglese.
- The tiramisù (even if usually I have this at home 😉 ).
Wine and spirits
Like 90% of the guests, I usually have their home Sangiovese. They serve it cold, a very good choice during summer, while in winter I prefer to have it warmer… just ask. You can buy here a very good Sangiovese di Romagna: https://bit.ly/2QwhcAe.
To end your meal, after a good zuppa inglese and a coffee, never forget their nocino . It is an amaro (i.e. “bitter”, like the dominant taste of these class of digestive liqueurs) typical of the mountains near Bologna and Modena. To try at home this experience, here is an excellent pick: https://amzn.to/2C6cTBT .
Le golosità di nonna Aurora will let you live a real bolognese experience, including the salacious cordiality so typical of this part of Italy. Service is easy, the idea is that you should feel like at your grandma’s on Sunday lunch.
A brief, but due, note to the memory of the greatly missed Max, who passed away 2017. You are greatly missed, but your family is making a great job in keeping your memory alive in the best possible way. Giving your customers the best food experience, every day, like you always did.
Le golosità di nonna Aurora has a favorable price / quality ratio. Even if, due to always growing popularity, prices have increased during last 10 years, the food experience will always leave you satisfied and with the need to be back as soon as possible.
If you come and visit Bologna, definitely give it a try and let me know how that feels! And for another amazing experience, just 90 kilometers from Bologna, you can find Podere San Faustino in Parma.
But.. if you are in Rome, and you have liked this post, your place for an authentic meal is Lo scopettaro!