Tagliatelle Pasta Deserves Only One Classic Sauce Pairing

Tagliatelle is a beloved pasta — and for good reason. Cut into long, flat ribbon noodles, it is often confused with fettuccini, but it's a slightly wider pasta, with a width of a ¼ inch. It has a wonderfully spacious surface area in comparison to other pastas, allowing it to readily cling and cradle heavier sauces. But if you are making a tagliatelle and feel tempted to pair it with a pesto or a heavily creamed sauce, don't. Traditionally, this noodle is partnered up and served with Bolognese sauce

While most people think Bolognese typically goes with spaghetti, Italian traditionalists say think again — this concept is a British invention. A Bolognese sauce, which is a thick ragu of sauce and meat, marries perfectly with tagliatelle because they are both considered hearty foods. In fact, these two create a classic dish with a long history and rich taste that has roots in the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy, where Bologna is located. 

Tagliatelle captures all the flavor and ingredients of a Bolognese sauce

The texture and thickness of tagliatelle paired with the meaty, ragu alla Bolognese creates a satisfying bite. This is in part due to the mild taste and the porous surface of tagliatelle. The spongey nature of this pasta allows it to absorb the sauce and white wine in addition to holding all those bits of ground beef, pancetta, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and herbs. The harmonious flavors of sweet and savory create a beautiful symphony for the taste buds. 

While tagliatelle and Bolognese sauce seem to go hand in hand and definitely gets the Italian stamp of approval, the culinary world is not about limitations but about creativity and fusion. For vegetarians and vegans, you can even stick to this combo by swapping out the meaty elements for lentils and cauliflower or trading the butter for oil and using nondairy milk.