Tagliatelle Bolognese recipe or Tagliatelle al Ragù is a traditional pasta recipe from then region of Emilia Romagna. It has become a symbol of Italian cuisine around the world.
Tagliatelle al ragù Bolognese are perfect for everyday family meal but are also great to serve to your guests during a Sunday lunch or for even more refined occasions.
All the ingredients for the preparation of this recipe are available all year round and have no seasonality, so it’s a dish you can make all the time.
Tagliatelle is a fresh egg pasta typical of the cuisine of Emilia Romagna. It’s made with a dough of flour and eggs, first rolled out thin then made into a roll and finally “tagliate”(meaning cut) hence the name Tagliatelle.
Making homemade pasta in Italy is an ancient art, and tagliatelle is one of the most beloved traditional pasta shapes.
Bolognese Sauce or Ragù alla Bolognese is a rich and flavorful sauce made with ground meat and tomato passata, perfect to season pasta and in particular for Tagliatelle and Lasagna Bolognese. It’s a great classic of Italian cuisine, particularly for the city of Bologna, where it’s a true institution.
The two recipes are therefore extremely interconnected, one could say that they were born for each other.
Now let’s see how to make some great authentic Tagliatelle alla Bolognese!
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How to Make Tagliatelle Bolognese Recipe
- Prep Time: 30 Min. If you want to make homemade tagliatelle you need 1 extra hour
- Cook Time: 2 H 20 Min for bolognese sauce + 5 Min for Tagliatelle
- Yelds: 4
- 400 g of Tagliatelle
For Homemade Tagliatelle
- 200 g (1 1/2 cup) of “00” Soft Wheat Flour
- 200 g (1 1/2 cup) of durum wheat flour (semola flour)
- 4 eggs of at least 70 g (2,5 oz) each. Fresh homemade pasta usually wants 1 egg x 100 g (3/4 cup) of flour.
For Ragù alla Bolognese
- 300 g (10 oz) of ground beef
- 150 g (5 oz) of sliced pancetta (you can replace pancetta with minced pork)
- 1 small carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 300 g (1 1/4 cup) of tomato passata or crashed peeled tomato
- 1 small onion
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) of dry white wine
- 300 ml (1 1/2cup) of meat broth
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) of whole milk
- fine salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
First, Prepare the Bolognese Sauce
Step 1) – Cut the carrot, celery and onion into very small pieces and set aside. Then finely chop the pancetta.
Place the chopped pancetta in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 2) – Now add the extra virgin olive oil and the finely chopped vegetables. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Step 5) – Then add the ground beef. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Now add the white wine. Stir and let it evaporate.
Step 6) – Finally, add the tomato passata. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 2 hours.
If the sauce becomes too dry during cooking, add a little broth.
Toward the end, add milk to dampen the acidity of the tomato. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
The Bolognese sauce is ready! You can use it right away, store it in the refrigerator or freeze it.
For more information, curiosities and tips, read the full recipe: how to make Authentic Bolognese Sauce.
How to Make Homemade Tagliatelle
Now, while bolognese sauce is slowly simmering, prepare the Homemade Tagliatelle.
PLEASE NOTE: Of course, you can use packaged Tagliatelle. But if you have the time and inclination, we recommend that you prepare them at home by following the steps below. It will be a real success!
To make homemade tagliatelle we used a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. But any stand mixer will do.
If you want to know how to knead by hand, read our recipe How to Make Homemade Pasta.
Step 1) – First, sift the two flours and combine them together. Pour the two sifted flours into the steel bowl. Then add the eggs.
With the flat “leaf” whisk set to speed 2 on the caster and mix the ingredients together for half a minute.
Step 2) – Now remove the flat “leaf” whisk and insert the dough hook.
Step 3) – Still at speed 2, knead for 2 -3 minutes until a single firm dough ball is formed.
Now, dust the work surface with semolina. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for 2 minutes.
Step 4) – Form a ball of dough, wrap it with plastic wrap or in a tea towel. Let it rest for about 20 minutes.
Then cut a piece of dough and flatten it with your hands.
Step 5) – Attach the sheeter to your stand mixer and proceed with the dough sheet. Set the knob of the sheeter to level 1 and at speed 2, put the dough into the rollers and pass it the first time.
Step 6) – Then fold the dough in half and then in half again.
Step 7) – Flour and pass through rollers again. Repeat 3-4 times (pass-fold-pass-fold) until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Step 8) – At this point DO NOT make any more folds and start thinning the sheets by passing them through the smooth roller to position 2 and finally 3. When the sheet becomes too long cut it into 2 parts.
Step 9) – Now move on to the preparation of the tagliatelle. Remove the sheeter from your KitcheAid and attach the tagliatelle tool.
At speed 1 insert the sheeter and with your other hand, pick up the tagliatelle.
Step 10) – Gather the tagliatelle with your hands and lay them on a tray floured with semolina.
Divide the tagliatelle into portions of about 50 g (1,8 oz) and roll them on your hand to form nests.
Tagliatelle are now ready to be cooked!
Cook and Season Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce
Step 1) – Place a pot of water on high heat and add a tablespoon of coarse salt.
When the water comes to a boil, throw in the noodles and count 3 minutes from when the water resumes boiling (about 5 minutes in total). If you have bought noodles, cook them the time indicated on the package.
PLEASE NOTE: Cooking should have these proportions: 1 liter (4 cups) of water, 100 g (3,5 oz) of pasta, and 10 g (½ tablespoon) of salt.
Step 2) – Drain tagliatelle al dente and toss them with plenty of Ragù alla Bolognese.
Serve tagliatelle alla bolognese bringing grated Parmigiano cheese to the table and more Ragù alla Bolognese to add on top as desired.
Can I Make Bolognese Sauce Ahead of Time?
It’s possible to make Bolognese Sauce in advance and reheat it at the appropriate time.
Ragù can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly closed food container for up to 2-3 days.
You can freeze the ragu and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
If I Make Tagliatelle in Advance, How do I Store them?
You can store fresh tagliatelle in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Or we recommend that you divide the noodles into small nests of about 50 g (1,8 oz) each, place well-spaced on a tray and then freeze them.
DO NOT THAW to cook them. Instead, drop the tagliatelle noodles into boiling water while still frozen.
How to Store Tagliatelle al Ragù alla Bolognese
You can store cooked tagliatelle topped with Bolognese sauce in the refrigerator, sealed in an airtight container, for up to one day.
To reheat, add a tablespoon of water and a drizzle of oil. Reheat in the microwave or stir-fry them.
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese Recipe: Origins
Tagliatelle al ragù alla Bolognese has aristocratic and very ancient origins.
Legend has it that tagliatelle, whose width must be 8 mm (1/3 inch), was invented on the occasion of Lucrezia Borgia’s wedding to the Duke of Ferrara in 1487 by the cook Zafirano.
The cook is said to have been inspired by the bride’s beautiful blond hair to create this new fresh pasta.
Of course at that time there were no machines to make tagliatelle! They were made by hand, as our grandmothers did.
The pasta was rolled out very thin with a rolling pin. Then it was rolled on itself. Finally, with a very sharp knife, it was cut into slices to form tagliatelle.
This method is still used today, especially to make wider cuts of pasta, such as pappardelle.
The name tagliatelle comes precisely from the Italian verb “tagliare” (to cut).
Bolognese sauce also has noble origins, having first appeared on the tables of wealthy Bolognese family courts in the 16th century.
It’s not certain when the exceptional marriage between tagliatelle and Bolognese sauce officially took place. What is certain, however, is the success of this Italian pasta dish, known and imitated all over the world.