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What is Tagliolini?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated May 16, 2024
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A classic Italian pasta, tagliolini is also known as tagliarini. These noodles are a variety of tagliatelle pasta, the classic noodle from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Long and paper-thin, they are cylindrical in shape and usually less than 0.125 inch (3 millimeters) in diameter. The dough used to make this pasta typically includes eggs.

Smooth, semi-thin sauces work best with tagliolini noodles, and white truffle sauce is the pasta's most famous accompaniment. Rich, fragrant sauces, such as carbonara or ricotta-based sauce, also work well with this pasta. Fresh vegetables and mushrooms can be added to dishes for complete meals.

Fine vegetarian meals may be crafted with the noodles. A simple pasta dish made from basil and tomatoes is popular, and breadcrumbs and nuts can be added for a rich flavor. The noodles are also often enjoyed flavored with a creamy egg and cheese or buttery base.

Once favored by the upper class, tagliatelle noodles quickly became a widely-used dish by peasants. Substitutions can be made if these noodles are unavailable, and linguine, angel hair, or spaghetti noodles can usually suffice. When used in Italian soups, the pasta may be referred to as passatelli. It can be broken into pieces when used in hearty meat soups or fish broths, or served whole in homemade soups.

Tagliatelle noodles are flat, and therefore slightly wider than tagliolini. This larger pasta is 0.5 inch (nearly 1 centimeter) in width and are similar to fettuccine noodles in shape. Other types of pasta related to this noodle include bavette and bavettine varieties. Tagliatelle noodles are said to have been created by a court chef who fashioned the pasta after an inspiring hairdo.

Meat sauces are commonly used on tagliatelle dishes. An absorbent pasta, it remains firm when served with thick, meaty sauces, like bolognese. Smooth, runny sauces, such as roast drippings, are usually reserved for the noodles. Rabbit, veal, pork, and beef may be served with the pasta as well.

To prepare these noodles, cooks should boil the pasta briefly in lightly salted water. Dried pasta typically only requires two to three minutes. If freshly made, the pasta will cook faster; one minute may be enough to fully cook fresh tagliolini. The pasta should be strained prior to serving with any fresh sauce desired.

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Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for DelightedCooking, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
Discussion Comments
By shell4life — On Jun 30, 2011

I found a recipe for a tagliolini tart. The recipe includes instructions for making tagliolini, but I prefer to buy mine.

You make a tart dough using butter, sugar, almond liquer, an egg, yeast, and flour. You make a separate layer using chopped, peeled almonds, a lemon peel, candied citron, and sugar. Basically, you alternate layers of tagliolini with layers of the sugary, citrusy, almond mixture.

After the whole tart is done, you spray it with a bitter almond liqueur. This tart is unlike anything else I have ever tried. The flavor is so unique, as is the idea of using pasta in a tart!

By kylee07drg — On Jun 29, 2011

Tagliolini with pesto and almonds is a delicious pasta dish. It is fairly easy to make.

You start by setting water to boil. While you are waiting, you put basil leaves in a blender with some salt, a clove of garlic, and 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano Reggiano. While you are blending this mixture, slowly add ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil until the combination is creamy.

This dish calls for string beans that are blanched for a couple of minutes in salted water. After you blanch them, you run cold water over them to stop them from cooking any further. Next, cut the larger beans in half and slit them lengthwise.

Then, saute some shredded prosciutto until crunchy. Remove them and add some oil to the pan. Saute the almonds and the beans for 2 minutes.

Cook the pasta, which cooks quickly. Drain it and place it in a serving bowl. Season the tagliolini with the pesto and then with the string bean combination. Stir it all up, top it with prosciutto, and serve it immediately for the best texture and flavor.

By whitesand — On Jun 29, 2011

My favorite tagliolini pasta is a recipe that was handed down to me from my great grandmother. It is a no truffles mascarpone tagliolini that's made with mascarpone cheese and nutmeg.

Mascarpone isn't actually a cheese at all, it's a process of skimming the cream from the top of cow's milk then culturing it with tartaric. It originated in the Lombardy area of Italy which is where my great grandmother is from.

It's used in a lot of wonderful Italian desserts, but it's cream cheese texture makes it ideal for many creamy pasta sauces as well.

By aviva — On Jun 28, 2011

@babylove - Have you tried the specialty food shops in your area? Sometimes you can purchase truffles that have been shipped in tins.

Another alternative you can do is to create a creamy white sauce with chopped Portobello mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream and white truffle oil which is much easier to find than the truffles themselves.

You can also add fresh herbs and spices to the truffle oil and just sprinkle that over the pasta with a blend of freshly grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses.

By babylove — On Jun 28, 2011

My tagliolini recipe calls for fresh shaved white truffles. I live in the Southeastern portion of the United States. Truffles of any kind are unheard of here. Please help. Is there a substitution or a comparable mushroom I can use?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for DelightedCooking, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
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