Tagliatelle al Ragù

Experience the delightful harmony of genuine Tagliatelle al Ragù pasta and a crafted Italian Ragù, enriched with vibrant vegetables, beef, and pancetta. Each mouthful offers an array of enticing flavors.

Two servings of Tagliatelle al Ragù garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Is there a better comfort food than pasta? Pasta makes me think of home and community. I feel like every time I am enjoying a hearty bowl of pasta, it is amongst friends, family, and lots of laughter—precisely how it should be.

This recipe uses a very underrated pasta, in my opinion: tagliatelle. If you were comparing it to another pasta, it is similar to fettuccini. But tagliatelle is thinner and slightly wider comparatively. Combining this delicious pasta with a homemade ragu sauce, your taste buds will soar!

Italian pasta dishes are one of my favorite comfort foods. If you like Italian dishes, like I do, then try my Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Bucatini, Easy Chicken Cacciatore Pasta, and Linguine Puttanesca!

History of Tagliatelle al Ragù

Tagliatelle al Ragù is a classic Italian dish with a rich history deeply rooted in the culinary traditions of Italy. The dish is renowned for its flavorful and hearty combination of elements such as wine (vino), meat (carne), oil (olio), milk (latte), and eggs (uova).

The origins of Tagliatelle al Ragù can be traced back to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, particularly in Bologna, where it is famously known as “Bolognese sauce.” The dish has become an integral part of Italian cuisine and is cherished both locally and internationally.

Reasons to Love This Pasta

  • The slow-cooked ragù offers a depth of flavor from the blend of meats, vegetables, and herbs.
  • The contrast between the tender, broad tagliatelle pasta, and the hearty meat sauce makes every bite satisfyingly diverse in texture.
  • This recipe is very versatile. You can adapt it with different meats or vegetables.
  • There’s a homey, comforting feel to this dish, reminiscent of traditional, family-style Italian cooking, perfect for gatherings or cozy nights.
  • Tagliatelle al Ragù offers an authentic taste of Italian cuisine, allowing people to explore international flavors right from their own kitchens.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for Tagliatelle al Ragù.
  • Tagliatelle Pasta: The base of the dish and provides the perfect texture to complement the rich sauce.
  • Ground Beef (Macinata di Manzo): Key to the ragù and adds richness and depth to the flavor profile.
  • Pancetta: This finely diced meat infuses the sauce with a smoky, savory quality that’s distinctive and flavorful.
  • Tomatoes (Passata di Pomodoro): Crushed tomatoes provide the sauce’s body and a slight acidity. It balances the richness of the meats.
  • Veggies: Diced carrots, celery, and onion contribute a harmonious blend of sweetness, earthiness, and savory depth to create a flavorful and well-rounded dish.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Bologna-Style Ragù (Tagliatelle al Ragù alla Bolognese): Incorporate the Bologna tradition by using a combination of ground pork and beef. Cook with extra virgin olive oil and add a splash of milk for a creamier texture.
  • Parmigiano Infused Ragù: Enhance the ragù with a generous addition of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a crack of black pepper for a robust flavor profile.
  • Fresh Egg Pasta Variation: Swap the store-bought tagliatelle with homemade fresh egg pasta. Use a simple dough of flour and eggs to make your own pasta.
  • Creamy Tomato Ragù: Transform the sauce by using a rich tomato sauce base instead of crushed tomatoes. Add extra heavy cream for a silkier texture, complementing the robust flavors of the meat.
  • Hearty Beef and Vegetable Ragù: Double the amount of carrot and celery for a more vegetable-forward version. Use beef broth to intensify the meaty flavor and finish with a touch of extra virgin olive oil for added richness.

How to Make Tagliatelle al Ragù

Step #1: In your Dutch oven over medium-low heat, brown the pancetta until the fat melts, about 8-10 minutes.

Pancetta cooking in a Dutch oven.

Step #2: Next, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, carrots, celery, and onion to the Dutch oven, and cook everything for about 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Vegetables added to a Dutch oven.

Step #3: Increase the heat to medium-high, add in the ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Then, add in the wine and stir until it evaporates, about 5 minutes.

Ground beef and vegetables are cooking in a Dutch oven.

Step #4: Next, add in the crushed tomatoes, cover, and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, adding a little broth if necessary. Stir occasionally.

Ragu sauce cooking in a Dutch oven

Step #5: When there are 10 minutes left of the 2 hours, add in the milk, heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste.

Ragu sauce, cooking in a Dutch oven, added milk and heavy cream.

Step #6: At the same time, with only a few minutes left for the sauce to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your tagliatelle pasta according to the package directions until it reaches al dente.

Tagliatelle pasta cooking in a pot of boiling water.

Step #7: Drain the pasta and add half of the ragù sauce to it at this time. Mix gently to get a light coating of sauce over the pasta. If you desire a thinner sauce consistency, you may add a splash of broth if you prefer, but it is not necessary.

Tagliatelle al Ragù being prepared.

Step #8: Finally, serve your pasta on a plate or in a bowl, top it with some of the remaining ragù, and add fresh Parmesan cheese if preferred. Enjoy!

A white bowl of Tagliatelle al Ragù.

Expert Tips

  • Slow Cooking is Key: Let your ragù simmer slowly for at least 2 hours. This allows flavors to meld and deepen for a more complex and savory sauce.
  • Perfect Pasta: Cook your tagliatelle until it’s just al dente. Overcooked pasta becomes mushy and won’t hold the sauce well, while undercooked pasta can be too chewy.
  • Sauce-to-Pasta Ratio: When mixing the pasta with the ragù, ensure there’s a light coating of sauce on each strand of pasta. Too much sauce can overwhelm the pasta, while too little can make the dish dry.
  • Deglaze with Wine: When adding wine to the ragù, ensure to deglaze the pan properly. This means scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom. The browned bits, known as fond, are the source of immense flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Tagliatelle al Ragù different from Spaghetti Bolognese?

The main difference is the pasta; Tagliatelle al Ragù uses tagliatelle, a wider pasta, and often has a different meat sauce composition.

How can I thicken my Ragù sauce?

Simmering the sauce uncovered allows excess liquid to evaporate, naturally thickening the sauce.

How can I tell when the ragù sauce is ready?

The sauce should be thick, with the oil separating slightly, and the flavors should be rich and well-balanced.

What are some common side dishes to serve with Tagliatelle al Ragù?

A green salad like our Italian Chopped Salad or Classic Greek Salad will pair well with this dish.

How can I make a vegetarian version of Tagliatelle al Ragù?

To create a vegetarian Tagliatelle al Ragù, substitute the ground beef and pancetta with a blend of hearty vegetables like mushrooms, lentils, or eggplant.

Storage Info

To store your Tagliatelle al Ragu, cool to room temperature. Then, refrigerate the sauce and pasta separately in airtight containers. The sauce stays fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge. If mixed with pasta, consume within 2-3 days. For longer storage, freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. Reheat by thawing in the fridge, then warming on the stove. If you store the pasta separately, quickly reheat it in boiling water. Reheat mixed pasta and sauce in a skillet, stirring occasionally.

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Tagliatelle al Ragù served on a white plate.

Tagliatelle al Ragù Recipe

Experience the delightful harmony of genuine Tagliatelle al Ragù pasta and a crafted Italian Ragù, enriched with vibrant vegetables, beef, and pancetta. Each mouthful offers an array of enticing flavors.
4.9 from 7 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 874kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 10 oz Tagliatelle pasta
  • 12 oz ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 1/2 oz pancetta - finely diced
  • 1 carrot - finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk - finely diced
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion - finely diced
  • 2 cups tomatoes - peeled, seeded, and crushed
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 can beef broth - optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh parmesan cheese - optional garnish

Instructions

  • In your Dutch oven over medium-low heat, brown the pancetta until the fat melts, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Next, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, carrots, celery, and onion to the Dutch oven, and cook everything for about 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high, add in the ground beef, and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Then, add in the wine and stir until it evaporates, about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add in the crushed tomatoes, cover, and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, adding a little broth if necessary. Stir occasionally.
  • When there are 10 minutes left of the 2 hours, add in the milk, heavy cream, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • At the same time, with only a few minutes left for the sauce to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your tagliatelle pasta according to the package directions until it reaches al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and add half of the ragù sauce to it at this time. Mix gently to get a light coating of sauce over the pasta. If you desire a thinner sauce consistency, you may add a splash of broth if you prefer, but it is not necessary.
  • Finally, serve your pasta on a plate or in a bowl, top it with some of the remaining ragù, and add fresh Parmesan cheese if preferred. Enjoy!

VIDEO

NOTES

Storage Info:
To store your Tagliatelle al Ragu, cool to room temperature. Then, refrigerate the sauce and pasta separately in airtight containers. The sauce stays fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge. If mixed with pasta, consume within 2-3 days. For longer storage, freeze the sauce for up to 3 months. Reheat by thawing in the fridge, then warming on the stove. If you store the pasta separately, quickly reheat it in boiling water. Reheat mixed pasta and sauce in a skillet, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 874kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 442mg | Potassium: 877mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1271IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 4mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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