Italian Cooking | Tagliatelle al Ragu Recipe

Before we start, let’s get one thing clear – spaghetti Bolognese does NOT exist. If you try to order this dish in Italy, especially in the region of Emilia Romagna, locals will scoff at the idea and tell you as much.

Instead, locals from Bologna, ‘i Bolognesi’, feast on fresh tagliatelle pasta topped with a delicious meaty ragu sauce. And it is hundred times better than any spaghetti Bolognese – trust us.

Just one hour from Bologna, in the heart of the Emilia Romagna region, you can find a charming old farmhouse where Marco runs authentic Italian cookery holiday in this beloved culinary pocket of Italy.

Taking time out from his Italian cooking lessons, Chef Marco sat down to write us the recipe for this classic dish. Here is what he had to say about it:

“Egg pasta is our masterpiece, our touring point, and the most basic of fundamental Italian cooking. Everything starts from one egg and a bit of flour; and the the secret is simple – mixing, rolling and stretching the dough with force and love until it is just right.

This is the basis of Bolognese cuisine but to create a complete dish, you have to discover how to prepare TAGLIATELLE al RAGÙ, the most famous and beloved Bolognese dish of them all!”

bowl of tagliatelle al ragu pasta

You will need

table for your pasta, rolling pin, pot for your Ragu, and a pot to boil your fresh pasta


Ragu sauce

300g of beef mince
150g bacon
50g carrot
50g onion
300g tomato sauce
½ glass of white wine


Firstly, chop the celery, carrots and onions very thinly, and fry for a few minutes in olive oil.

Add the meat and let it cook for 5 minutes, then follow with the wine. Let the wine evaporate, and add the tomato to the sauce. Flavour with salt and pepper and leave the sauce to cook for at least 2 hours (people generally cook ragù for the entire morning).


To make the pasta, mix one egg with 100g of ’00’ flour till smooth and then roll out the dough extremely thinly (in Bologna, we say: “you have to see through the sfoglia (pasta dough)”).

Fold up 2 or 3 times, and slice your noodles a bit thick as shown here:

fresh pasta being chopped on wooden board

When preparing your pasta, hang your tagliatelle from the bottom of a clothes hanger until you’re ready to throw it into the pot. And you are ready to be the real ‘Sfoglina’ (Bolognese pasta maker) in your neighborhood :)


When your pasta is ready, boil the pasta in salted water for one minute and serve hot with the sauce mixed in.

Serving suggestions

Serve the tagliatelle with a copious sprinkling of Parmigiano cheese – it tastes even better!

Feel free to explore our full range of Italian cookery holidays here to get the best of every region.

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