Most closely associated with the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions of Italy, tagliatelle is one of the many styles of pasta and resembles a length of ribbon in shape, being between 6.5 – 10mm (¼-¾ inch) wide. The name comes from the Italian verb tagliare mean “to cut”. Tagliatelle must not be confused with tagliolini, which is another type of pasta, long and cylindrical in shape. more like a fat spaghetti than a flat ribbon. Both are made from egg pasta which traditionally is made with one egg to every 100g (3½ ounces) of flour.
Tagliatelle can be served with a variety of sauces, including cheese, but most traditionally it accompanies a meat or Bolognese sauce.
In Bologna, there are strict rules governing the correct proportions for making tagliatelle – one millimetre wide and six millimetres long – and the Bologna Chamber of Commerce possesses a gold replica of a piece of tagliatelle which is the “gold standard” for settling any disputes. In Venice, there the tagliatelle has to conform to the exact proportions of the tower in St Mark’s Square.
While tagliatelle is commercially available both in fresh and dried form, the texture of the fresh, being porous and rough, is ideal for thick sauces.