Let’s discover the original tagliatelle recipe and the local variations!
Tagliatelle are one of the most popular pasta dishes in Italy. They are a traditional type of pasta from central Italy and owe their name to the shape: they are in fact narrow strips of cut pasta. According to the legend, this type of pasta was invented in 1487 when Zefirano, talented chef at the court of Giovanni II Bentivoglio, wanted to amaze his guests with a special dish on the occasion of Annibale II Bentivoglio’s wedding. It is said that this version has no historical basis.
What is certain is that tagliatelle have been handed down until today, continuing to be a great success both in Italy and beyond our national borders. To confirm their popularity, in 1972 the Italian Kitchen Academy deposited at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna the recipe of “Tagliatelle Bolognese” with their official size and a sample of golden tagliatelle. According to this official data, cooked tagliatelle – to comply with the dictates of the official recipe – must be 8 millimetres wide from cooked, equivalent to about 7 millimetres from raw; while the thickness must be between 6 and 8 tenths.
How to make the real Tagliatelle Bolognese
The authentic recipe from Emilia Romagna establishes that tagliatelle should be served with Bolognese sauce. To make the sauce, heat the butter in a large pan, add pancetta and herbs, add the minced meats and fry gently for 10 minutes. Then add the red wine and bubble for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Then, cook with broth and tomato sauce. Parmigiano Reggiano is the final touch for excellent tagliatelle with bolognese sauce.
The ingredients to make the pasta dough are water and flour, as well as fresh eggs left to rest for a few minutes at room temperature. The official dosages include an egg for every 100 grams of flour.
Here you can find the correct procedure: sift the flour onto a large wooden board. Form the flour into a mound and make a hole in the centre, break the eggs and start kneading with your hands by gradually adding the flour to the centre, until the dough is compact and uniform. Once you have a beautifully silky loaf of dough, let it rest for 30 minutes to let the gluten develop. Then, it is necessary to divide the dough into several parts and start rolling it until it is very thin. After having dried the pasta a little more, you can proceed by rolling it up on itself and cutting the tagliatelle with a width of about half a centimetre. Once this is done, you can leave them on a dry surface before cooking them.
Tagliatelle: recipes and local variations
In Emilia-Romagna, tagliatelle are traditionally served with Bolognese sauce; however it is possible to taste them with many other sauce recipes: from the simple tomato sauce to mushrooms and truffles, up to the fish with the summer version, “tagliatelle with seafood”.
This type of egg pasta has spread throughout Italy over time, giving rise to several local variations.
To take a first example, “fettuccine” from Lazio are thinner than tagliatelle. The pasta sauce is made with beef mince, as in the version from Emilia Romagna.
In Piedmont, the typical “tajarin” are very popular: created in the Langhe and Monferrato area, they are much thinner than the traditional tagliatelle. They differ from the classic tagliatelle for a very high quantity of egg yolks per kilo of flour. The tradition wants them to be served with a ragu made with local ingredients from Piedmont.
Among these local versions of the famous tagliatelle, we can also mention “pappardelle” and “lasagnette” – as they are called in Verona – characterised by a more important width, which can even reach 2 centimetres.
Tagliatelle: a food and wine tradition to enjoy
Such a long and fascinating tradition certainly deserves great attention. Finding the best handmade tagliatelle and tasting them according to the official recipe is the desire of many gourmets. Yet, immersing yourself in the authentic atmosphere of a pasta factory to learn this ancient art is a truly unique experience.
This interesting opportunity is available in different regions of Italy, starting from the Scrivia Valley in Piedmont where it is possible to join many cooking classes to learn the art of fresh pasta and fresh stuffed pasta. In Tuscany, near Saturnia hot springs, in the province of Grosseto, it is also possible to enjoy a similar experience, as in Emilia Romagna and in the Marche.
It goes without saying that these Italian regions combine food and wine experiences with the opportunity to visit enchanting places, with incredible panoramas and charming villages: a unique opportunity to combine the love for food with the desire to visit unforgettable places.
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