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.