When it comes to traditions, culture and history, Italy is one of the first countries that comes to mind. Not only for its incredible cultural sights, but also because in Italy, even food and recipes have years of history and legend behind them.
Tagliatelle is a traditional Italian pasta typical of Emilia Romagna. Its name originates from the Italian verb “tagliare” which literally means to cut. The tagliatelle are made with flour and eggs, mixed and kneaded into a dough. After resting, the dough is roll out thinly, folded on itself and cut into ribbons of exactly 7mm wide, which will expand during cooking to 8mm. The traditional ratio is one egg to one hundred grams of flour.
The most popular way of serving tagliatelle is with ragout, but over the years they’ve been served with many different ingredients such as mushrooms, truffle and Italian prosciutto. Some even add spinach or other vegetables to the dough, which gives the pasta a unique colour and an additional flavour.
Legend has it that this pasta was invented in 1487, when a famous chef from Bologna called Zerafino decided to make a special kind of pasta for Lucrezia Borgia’s marriage to Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara. It was believed that the pasta was inspired from the bride’s beautiful blond locks, but in reality, it was only a tale told to make the story of this pasta more interesting.
The truth is, it was only in 1972 that the authentic recipe was brought to the Bologna Chamber of Commerce, where today inside a glass case you can still find a gold replica of a piece of tagliatelle with its precise measurements.
In 2010 at the International Culinary Centre Amphitheatre ‘Tagliatella Day’ was celebrated, where the famous Italian Chef Valentino Rizzo from Osteria Bottega in Bologna, prepared the authentic recipe for Tagliatelle al Ragu’ Bolognese. Across the world on the very same day, more than 1,000 restaurants used the same recipe out of respect for this fine Italian cuisine … high praise indeed.
Valentino explained that the initiative was to help the world understand that this dish should not be cooked in a bizarre way with various ‘extra’ ingredients that were completely unessential. He wanted to teach the whole world how tagliatelle should be cooked in a true and authentic, Italian way.
At Delita, we like to think that we’ve created a Tagliatelle that the people of Emilia Romagna, the chef Zerafino and Valentino himself would approved of.