Tagliatelle is a plural feminine noun, pronounced tah-yleeah-TAYL-lay. It refers to one of the most popular noodles in Italy. You’ll rarely hear anyone use the singular form of the word (tagliatella) since noodles are a herd animal.
Le tagliatelle can measure from 5mm to 10mm wide, and are usually made with l’uovo [egg] and sold fresh. You may have been first introduced to tagliatelle under the name of fettuccine: the two shapes are more or less the same, although fettuccine is reputed to be thicker and may also be sold dry.
The name is rooted in the verb tagliare, to cut, which is what you have to do to a big sheet of pasta dough in order to make tagliatelle. This particular noodle is sturdy enough to support a ragù [meat sauce], but is also served with pomodoro [tomato], piselli [peas], frutti di mare [seafood] and prosciutto sauces.
The shape of tagliatelle is simple, yet its authentic “origin” has been attributed to the region Emilia-Romagna, particularly Bologna and environs. If you want to try making your own tagliatelle, watch how it’s done here!
If this is the kind of learning you like to do, pick up a copy of Italian Through Food!