Last updated on October 30, 2023

Tagliatelle 🍝 Origins and recipes of the Italian egg pasta

Gianni from All Italian - Author
Gianni from All Italian

Tagliatelle is a typical type of pasta from Emilia, often made with egg and very popular in Northern Italy. We tell you about the origins and prepare a plate of tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce step by step, just like we do in Italy.

A video of our tagliatelle recipe. Below we explain all steps in detail

What is Tagliatelle?

Tagliatelle is an Italian type of long pasta with a flat section. Made with eggs and flour, it is typical from Emilia, the region of Bologna, and popular in central and northern Italy.
Tagliatelle can also be made with durum wheat semolina, and then dried.

The name 🔊 tagliatelle comes from the Italian verb 🔊 tagliare, which means to cut.

Tagliatelle are made from a thin sheet of pasta, like that of lasagna. The dough is rolled up, and then sliced. This is why the tagliatelle are dried in a rolled shape. In Italy we call this type of pasta 🔊 pasta a nido, «nest pasta».

Verse handgesneden tagliatelle
Verse handgesneden tagliatelle Foto: Nnaluci

On this page of All Italian we prepare a classic dish of tagliatelle with ragù, the best way to share our traditions.

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (ragù) 🍝 Authentic Italian recipe

(17) reviews

  • 👩‍🍳 Easy
  • 25 min preparation
  • 🤗 Guaranteed result

A pan of tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce
The tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce that we make step by step on this page

Outside of Italy spaghetti is the most popular type of pasta with Bolognese sauce. The dish is famous: Spaghetti alla Bolognese.

But in Italy the classic dish is tagliatelle with ragù Bolognese. For at least two reasons: tagliatelle and rragùagu are typical of the same geographical area, Emilia.

Furthermore the texture of tagliatelle is rougher than spaghetti and absorbs the sauce better. And Bolognese sauce goes particularly well with tagliatelle.

In this recipe we make a plate of tagliatelle al ragù Bolognese with a sprinkling of Parmigiano cheese: an exceptional dish that represents Emilian and northern Italian cuisine.

It's a very quick and easy recipe, but you need to already have the Bolognese sauce ready.

Making a healthy Bolognese sauce, that of the original Italian recipe, is not difficult: it takes a total of 2 and a half hours.
Half an hour to prepare the ingredients and 2 hours to cook (but the longer the Bolognese sauce cooks, the better it is).

👉 Read our traditional Ragù Bolognese recipe with the step-by-step procedure.

Ground beef, pancetta and San Marzano tomatoes. Flavored with sautéed onions and a drop of white wine. Just like the ragù Bolognese we make in Italy 👍





Ingredient image Ingredient name Cups Grams Ounces
tagliatelle Tagliatelle 10.5 oz 300 g
bolognese-sauce Bolognese sauce 16 oz 450 g
cheese-parmigiano Parmigiano cheese 2 oz 60 g

How many tagliatelle per person?

In the ingredients of our recipe we have not indicated whether tagliatelle are fresh or dry; when in doubt, we wrote about 3.5 oz / 100 g per person.

The Società Italiana di Nutrizione Umana suggests these quantities of pasta:

  • 100 g per serving (about 3.5 oz) for fresh tagliatelle

  • 80g (about 2.8 oz) per serving for dry tagliatelle.

The recommended amount of fresh pasta is larger because it contains more water, which increases its weight.

How much ragù Bolognese with tagliatelle?

We have included 150g Bolognese sauce for each portion. However, this amount depends on your personal taste and how much sauce you have available.

One of the advantages of making your own Bolognese sauce is that you can freeze it and use it the following days.

A little experience and planning is needed: if you freeze a lot of ragù in one block, it is difficult to separate a single portion from the frozen block of sauce.

The trick is to freeze the ragù in small portions so that you can thaw the sauce more easily.

❄️ How do you defrost Bolognese sauce before using it?

If you have frozen the Bolognese sauce, you must of course defrost it before using it. But what is the best method?

It is not advisable to thaw Bolognese sauce at room temperature: if you take ragù Bolognese out of the fridge and let it thaw at room temperature, you risk spreading bacteria due to the large temperature difference.

The best method, even if it takes a little longer, is to thaw the ragù in the fridge. In this way, defrosting is gradual.

Are you in a hurry? Then you can use the microwave's defrost function. It is specially made for defrosting food from the freezer and also works with the Bolognese sauce.

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (ragù) 🍝 Authentic Italian recipe
Our Bolognese sauce defrosted and ready to be mixed with tagliatelle

How do you cook tagliatelle?

Cooking Dried tagliatelle cooking is very similar to cooking other types of dry pasta.

The ideal cooking time is usually indicated on the pasta packaging. However, in Italy we always check the cooking status of the pasta during cooking, especially if we want pasta al dente.

Fresh tagliatelle take little time to cook. In boiling and already salted water, the tagliatelle will rise to the surface after a few moments.

Dried tagliatelle should be cooked in about 7 minutes; fresh tagliatelle, on the other hand, should cook for 2 to 4 minutes after they rise to the surface.

Tagliatelle alla Bolognese (ragù) 🍝 Authentic Italian recipe
Make sure to read the instructions about cooking times on the packaging.


  1. Prepare the ingredients

    The ingredients are not many: you only need the Bolognese sauce and the tagliatelle.

    Defrost the ragù beforehand. As we wrote above, you can put the Bolognese sauce from the freezer into the refrigerator so that it gradually thaws.

    To make it faster, you can defrost the Bolognese sauce in the microwave if it has the defrost function.

    Prepare the ingredients
    The ingredients of tagliatelle al ragù: Bolognese sauce, tagliatelle en Parmigiano cheese

  2. Heat the water for the pasta

    Pour cold water into a large pan.
    In Italy we like to cook pasta in a lot of water, but we don't like to waste it.

    The recommended proportions are 1 liter (about 1 US quart) of water per 100 grams (3.5 oz) of pasta.

    For nest pasta such as tagliatelle, add a little more water.

    👉 To cook the pasta, we follow the steps of the pasta al dente recipe.

    Heat the water for the pasta
    Cover the pot with a lid to boil the water faster

  3. Add the salt and the pasta

    When the water boils, pour in the salt. Coarse salt is used for pasta water because it is easier to dose, even without weighing.

    Traditionally, we add 0.35 oz / 10 g of salt per 1 quart / liter of water.

    After you put the salt in, the water will stop boiling for a little while.
    Wait for it to boil again and then pour in the tagliatelle.

    As Pellegrino Artusi also says, you don't have to break tagliatelle before cooking.

    👉 While the pasta is cooking, the lid should not be covering the pan.

    Add the salt and the pasta

  4. Heat up the Bolognese sauce

    When the ragù is fully defrosted, put it in a pan and turn the heat very low. To prevent the Bolognese sauce from drying out, dilute the ragu with half a ladle of pasta water.

    Heat up the Bolognese sauce

  5. Combine the pasta and sauce

    Are the tagliatelle almost al dente, but not ready yet?
    With a spaghetti spoon, transport the tagliatelle from the pasta water to the pan with the sauce.

    Mix tagliatelle and Bolognese sauce well together in the pan over medium heat.

    If necessary, add a little cooking water to dilute the sauce. The cooking water contains starch and makes the sauce a little creamier.

  6. Serving

    Add a pinch of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and serve.

Your tagliatelle alla Bolognese is ready. Buon appetito! 🍝

A plate tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce made with the Italian recipe
Our tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce is ready
Detail of tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce on a fork

Did you like it? Rate this recipe

In the restaurant in Italy, when you finish eating, the waiter will ask: 🔊 andava tutto bene? (was everything fine?)

Recipe rating Italian translation
🔊Abbastanza buono
🔊Non molto buono
🔊Non buono
Placeholder image

Which sauce with tagliatelle?

In Emilia it is traditional to combine tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce (ragù bolognese), with plenty of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

With ragù in Romagna they combine green tagliatelle, which are made of vegetables such as spinach. Tagliatelle of two intertwined colors, yellow and green, 🔊 paglia e fieno (straw and hay).

In the different Italian regions, tagliatelle is prepared with local sauces and specialties.

  • In Tuscany and Umbria with mushrooms, truffles and ragù di cinghiale (wild boar sauce);

  • Tagliatelle is served with fish on the coast of Romagna and in the Marche region.

Why don't Italians like tagliatelle alla carbonara?

With this page we wanted to share the recipe for one of the most iconic dishes of Italian cuisine: tagliatelle al ragù Bolognese.

After a short research, however, we came to something that surprised us a bit: many recipes from outside Italy prepare Tagliatelle alla Carbonara.

If you search the Italian internet for "Tagliatelle alla Carbonara", the first results will have titles like: "7 ways to spoil your tagliatelle". One of them, according to the Italians, is to add Carbonara sauce to egg pasta.


Carbonara sauce contains one egg per person, plus an extra egg at the bottom of the recipe. And tagliatelle contains one egg for every 100 g of flour.

For this reason, Italians prefer a more balanced combination of pasta and sauce.
For the same reason, gnocchi are also not suitable with Carbonara sauce.

In short, according to the Italians, combining egg pasta with egg sauce is not ideal.

The official tagliatelle recipe

Since the 1970s, the Accademia Italiana has registered della Cucina the recipe for the most traditional dishes of Italian regional cuisines, aiming to ensure their quality, ingredients and process.

In 1972, the Academy registered the official tagliatelle recipe with the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna, which includes the traditional ratio of 1 egg per 100 grams (about 3.5 oz) of flour.

The size of tagliatelle has also been made official: the width of a cooked tagliatella should be about 8 mm, as it 12,270 part of the height of the Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna. Furthermore, the thickness of tagliatelle should be less than 1 mm. 🤓

The two towers of Bologna: Garisenda on the left and Asinelli on the right
The two towers of Bologna: Garisenda on the left and Asinelli on the right

In 1982, the Academy also registered the official recipe for Bolognese sauce.

Types of tagliatelle

You can buy both dry tagliatelle, on the shelf at the grocery store; or fresh, which you will find in the refrigerated counter.

Italian law requires dried tagliatelle to be made with durum wheat semolina, like all dry pasta sold in Italy. This restriction is intended to protect the quality of the product; dry pasta made with soft wheat flour is considered to be of inferior quality.

Tagliatelle paglia e fieno
Tagliatelle paglia e fieno Foto: Popo le Chien

Origin of tagliatelle

The term tagliatelle appears as early as the sixteenth century, in a 1549 text on the culinary art of House of Este, in Ferrara. The cookbook, by Cristoforo di Messisbugo, is titled Banchetti compositioni di vivande, et apparecchio generale and is an interesting document that you can also be read online.

The recipe book
The recipe book "Banchetti compositioni di vivande, et apparecchio" by Cristoforo di Messisbugo - Ferrara, 1549 Foto: Google books

In the book, Christopher van Messisburgo describes the similarity between lasagna and tagliatelle, which are in fact sliced lasagna.

Pellegrino Artusi's tagliatelle

On the pages of All Italian dedicated to Italian pasta we often mention Pellegrino Artusi - writer and gastronomes who wrote mostone of the fundamental books of Italian cuisine in the nineteenth century: The science of cooking and the art of eating well (La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene in Italian).

Memorial on the birthplace of Pellegrino Artusi in village Forlimpopoli
Memorial on the birthplace of Pellegrino Artusi in village Forlimpopoli Foto: Bucaramango

A famous quote from Artusi's book, first published in 1891:< /p>

«Short bills and long tagliatelle, they say in Bologna. Because long bills frighten husbands; and short tagliatelle testify to the inexperience of the cook, because short tagliatelle look like leftovers from the kitchen». (Our translation)

—Pellegrino Artusi, The science of cooking and the art of eating well

As Artusi reminds us, you don't need to break tagliatelle before cooking it. The same goes for spaghetti 🙂

Learning Italian 🇮🇹

Like many other types of pasta (spaghetti, rigatoni,..), tagliatelle is also plural. This is because there are many pieces of pasta on the plate.

So the Italians say 🔊 Le tagliatelle sono buone (Tagliatelle are tasty), in the plural.

Instead you say in English: (the dish) tagliatelle is tasty, in the singular.

The Italian words we use on this page:

🔊 Pasta all'uovo Egg pasta
🔊 Ragù alla Bolognese Bolognese sauce

Follow our pages on Italian pasta

We frequently update our pages on Italian pasta with new classic and regional traditional recipes.

Over All Italian

Hi! We are Italian expats and have been living abroad for years, currently in the Netherlands. Wherever we go, we carry part of our tradition with us. And we often notice that Italy, its heritage and its lifestyle, are very popular.
Now that we understand a little better the culture of the countries we live in, we want to offer an account with original content about our home country.
We are also writing this blog to practice English, so you will find our writing a little «creative» at times. Grazie mille!