Traditional Mortadella Bologna Mousse Recipe

Who loves Mortadella Bologna Mousse?

If you’re looking for a traditional Bologna recipe, there is no shortage of options. You need a honestly good Mortadella Bologna Mousse recipe.

Tortellini in brodo, lasagne and ragù alla Bolognese are probably the city’s most famous dishes, but if I had to choose the one product that is key in many Bologna recipes, it would be mortadella.

Bologna IGP is made of high-quality, finely ground pork meat and seasoned with spices and cubes of pork fat, and it is protected by the European Union designation PGI that ensures the quality and origin of its ingredients. It’s gluten free also.

There are many ways to enjoy it. For instance with a slice of bread, as pasta filling or to make a pasta timballo (similar to a casserole), mortadella cutlets (cooked in the Carozza-style) and, as I offer here, in a mousse.

This recipe, called spuma (mousse) di mortadella in Bolognese, is from Magda. An amazing cook, Magda’s dishes have been appreciated by many over the years. Thank you, Magda, for sharing your recipe with me.

The mousse has the consistency of pâté and you can serve it as an appetizer, aperitif, merenda. You can bring it on the table in a jar with Streghe Bolognesi and breadsticks; you can also stuff vol au vents.

Below the recipe, find something more about Magda and the origin of the recipe.

Happy Bolognese cooking, Monica

Mortadella Bologna MousseMortadella Bologna Mousse

Food Tips

The first secret of bologna foam is to respect the delicate balance between the ingredients. So the advice is to use exactly the doses indicated. Trust the recipe.

Some people use cream instead of milk. I correct with cream at the end, to make it soft as a cloud, then it depends on how I intend to use it. As an appetizer or aperitif, I prefer it softer. But if I’m going to stuff tortelli, it’s better to be more consistent.

The second secret concerns the quality of the ingredients used. Parmigiano Reggiano and Mortadella of mediocre quality produce a “sad” mousse, as Bolognesi said when food is not very good.

Some time ago I visited the historic factory where Villani family produces their mortadella. An incredible opportunity for a food writer who is always looking for stories to tell. I wrote a food story that you can find here on the blog.

Traditional Mortadella Bologna Mousse Recipe

serves 6

250 g Mortadella Bologna (two thick slices)
110 g fresh ricotta (cow’s milk or “mista” are best)
20 g grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
60 g whole milk

heavy cream to taste


Chop the mortadella into large chunks and place into a blender with both types of cheese.

Blend until you have a smooth, mousse-like texture.

Serve Mortadella Bologna mousse on your bread of choice, such as baguette style bread or streghe (thin, cracker like bread that you can find in most any Bologna bakery).

Mortadella Bologna Mousse

Mortadella Bologna Mousse

Mortadella Bologna Mousse: Origins of a Recipe

The origins of the recipe, which got lost wandering aimlessly through the streets of the city and who knows where they ended up, have created a mood of uncertainty that is not helpful to those who want to clarify. Like a food writer with a mania for history like me.

That it is an ancient recipe, however, and 100% Bolognese, is demonstrated by the heroic gesture of the city delegation of the Academy of Italian Cuisine which, in 2004, deposited the “authentic” recipe at the Chamber of Commerce of the city.

Its origins are embedded in the gastronomic history of Bologna and seem to be linked to the recycling of mortadella leftovers from other preparations.

My Recipe

What I share is a very special recipe for me. For several reasons.
It takes me back to the years when I was a young researcher of contemporary history, working in the faculty where I graduated, I was full of dreams and hopes and I was an editor for a publishing house.




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