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A friend once said 

I love Italian food because is honest. The recipes contain a few ingredients, so only ingredients of very good quality can give you a delicious dish.

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Tagliatelle emiliane

Pasta Tagliatelle typical of Emilia

  • 200 g wheat flour or semolina of durum wheat

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tablespoon of water

  • a pinch of fine salt

  • 1 tablespoon of coarse salt

  • a bit of extra virgin olive oil

Pour the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre of the flour. Crack the eggs into the middle, then add the half tablespoon of water and a pinch of fine salt. With the help of a fork mix gently the ingredients in the well. When the egg white and yolk start mixing, continue the movements by including the flour, little by little. When the dough becomes solid, continue to work it using your hands until it becomes smooth - it will take around 15 - 20 min. The dough for pasta feels harder than the one of bread or pizza, because it contains less water. When you think it is ready, wrap it with a piece of plastic foil and let it rest for at least half an hour in the fridge.

After resting, the dough will be softer and more elastic. Take half of the dough, sprinkle some flour on it and stretch it with a rolling pin. To stretch it further you can still use a rolling pin, or you can use a pasta machine. Remember to sprinkle flour whenever the dough feels sticky. The right thickness for tagliatelle is less than 1 mm, but the dough should not be see-through (like in the case of dough for Lasagne). Be aware that during cooking the thickness will increase slightly. At this point you need to cut the dough in stripes, either with a knife or with the help of the special tool of a pasta machine. Sprinkle some flour on the stripes and let them dry for a few minutes, then group them in nidi (small nests) and cover them with a table cloth. Repeat the operations with the rest of the dough.

Boil 2 L of water (1 L for every 100 g of pasta), add a tablespoon of coarse salt and mix with a spoon. Place the nidi, one by one, in the boiling water and stir gently with a fork. Take aside a glass of the water in which the pasta is boiling, you will need it later when you add the sauce. Fresh pasta will take only a few minutes to cook, so taste it soon and regulate the cooking time accordingly! Italians sieve pasta after tasting and feeling that it has the right texture, the so called scolare a sentimento. When the texture is right, i.e. al dente, sieve the water, put the Tagliatelle back inside the pot, add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and mix gently. Now you can pour the sauce and eventually a bit of the water from the boiling pasta: the mixing needs to feel smooth and the pasta needs to sound "smoochy".

You can serve, for example, with a mushroom sauce or a meat sauce.

For additional tips during the preparation take a look at the pictures and videos under the recipe Tagliatelle di grano duro e castagne con sugo di funghi.

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