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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

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

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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