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Tagliatelle with bolognese sauce

  • 40 minutes
  • Medium
  • First Courses
This classic meat sauce from Bologna, famous throughout the world, is best tossed with fresh egg pasta.

Ingredients: Per 4 servings

  • lb Italian "00" flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs


Place the flour on a flat work surface and form a well. Break the eggs into the center and begin to work the dough. Knead until smooth, then let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Roll out the dough into a thin sheet. Flour lightly and fold it over onto itself a couple of times. Use a knife to cut ¼ in wide tagliatelle noodles. Stretch out the noodles on a lightly floured tray to dry.

Meanwhile, heat the ragù alla Bolognese in a wide pan over low heat.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water and drain when al dente.
Toss with the ragù and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano before serving.

Chef's Tips

If you wish to add more flavor to your tagliatelle you may add a bit of chopped rosemary and a clove of garlic while browning the vegetables.
In Bologna, the traditional “ragù” is made with tomato paste, but nowadays it is common to use diced tomatoes to have more sauce with the same amount of meat.

Food History

Tagliatelle can be served with just about any type of pasta sauce: from the most simple, like sautéed mushrooms or sliced truffle, to the famous ragù alla Bolognese. The pride of the city of Bologna, tagliatelle are the most widely known shape of fresh egg pasta. In 1972, in order to preserve the authenticity of the pasta, the Accademia Italiana della Cucina placed a copy of the original recipe for tagliatelle from Bologna in a deposit box in the Chamber of Commerce. This recipe states that the ideal noodle is between 1/5th and 1/4th of an inch in width before cooking. Given the importance of tagliatelle to the people of Bologna, it should not surprise you that there are various legends surrounding the origin of this noodle. The most famous of which was spread by Augusto Majani, a humorist. According to his verion of the story, tagliatellewere invented in Bologna in January 1487 by Maesto Zefirano. This Bolognese cook created a special pasta for a banquet organized by the noblemen of Bologna in honor of Lucrezia Borgia’s engagement to the Duke of Este. The tagliatelle, in fact, were supposed to represent Lucrezia’s beautiful blond hair.

False myths

Even if spaghetti alla Bolognese is one of the most famous Italian recipes in the world, this combination of pasta and sauce is not traditionally Italian. In Bologna, ragù alla Bolognese sauce is paired with fresh egg pasta, not dried pasta like spaghetti.

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