Pasta alla Bolognese

Rigatoni Bolognese at Pepe Rosso 24 in Port Rigatoni Bolognese at Pepe Rosso 24 in Port Washington. (Jan. 6, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

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The Northern Italian city of Bologna ranks as one of the world's culinary capitals. It was there that the rich meat sauce known as ragu Bolognese was born a few centuries ago.

The sauce is made with finely chopped vegetables as well as beef or pork plus tomatoes and is usually lightened with a little cream. In Italy, it's most commonly served over a flat ribbon pasta like tagliatelle.

Here are three Long Island restaurants whose pasta Bolognese are worthy of your fork:

PEPE ROSSO 24, Port Washington

At this convivial pizza-pasta spot, the flavor-intense Bolognese sauce is enriched with cream and served over rigatoni.

PASQUALE'S PIZZA & PASTA CAFE, Bellmore

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Although the robust Bolognese sauce at this informal spot is usually served over penne, you can get it over gnocchi, the tender semolina dumplings.

LA CAPANNINA RISTORANTE & PIZZERIA, Holtsville

This Italian spot near a multiplex theater offers a savory, creamy ground beef and marinara sauce over penne.

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