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Top Main Differences Between Tagliatelle And Fettuccine Pasta

Quick Answer: What Is The Difference Between Tagliatelle And Fettuccine Pasta? 

Tagliatelle and fettuccine are essentially the same at their core. Both pastas are made from eggs and flour and are cut into the shape of ribbons. The main difference of fettuccine vs tagliatelle derives from the width of each pasta. Tagliatelle pasta is wider than fettuccine: approximately ⅜ inches thick. Fettuccine, on the other hand, is about ¼ inch in width. In addition, tagliatelle pasta is more commonly eaten in the North of Italy, whereas fettuccine, in central Italy.

When it comes to the great wonders of the world, yes, the pyramids and colosseum are impressive, but one thing I think we can all agree on that is truly spectacular, is pasta. 

Despite its perpetual association with Italian cuisine, pasta is actually believed to have been first used in Ancient China during the Shang Dynasty over 3 thousand years ago. 

However, since then, Italy has remade and reinvented the original dish into an innumerable amount of shapes and flavors that are enjoyed today by cultures all over the world. 

Two such variants include tagliatelle and fettuccine. 

In the western hemisphere, we are relatively familiar with these types of pasta. 

Tagliatelle with bolognese sauce or fettuccine alfredo, for example, are dishes enjoyed by many in this part of the world. 

Now, although when most of us want to prepare an easy and delicious comfort food, we simply grab whatever pasta is on hand without a second thought, there are important technical details that distinguish the various types. 

If you are thinking, “who cares, it all tastes the same,” just bear in mind that if you choose to maintain this mindset, let me kindly advise you never to visit Italy as a comment like that may result in immediate social exclusion (not really, but they do take their pasta and pizza very seriously). 

RELATED: Pasta Vs Rice (Which One Is Healthier)

Still reading? Wise choice. 

At first glance, tagliatelle and fettuccine pasta appear virtually identical- and at their core, they are. 

Both pastas originated in Italy and are thick, long and flat ribbons made from some type of flour and eggs. 

If you learn about the history of them, however, and examine the strings of pasta a little more closely, you will be able to identify small differences that, yes, to the Italians, are vital. 

If you wish to broaden your knowledge of Italian cuisine and find out everything there is to know about tagliatelle and fettuccine pasta, make sure to check out the following sections. 

Divertiti!

Tagliatelle 

If you just pronounced the previous word as “tag-li-a-tell-ee,” good effort, but I’m afraid the founding fathers of this pasta have another way of saying it. 

If you want to sound like the natives, the correct pronunciation of tagliatelle is “tal-ya-TELL-eh”- with an emphasis on the “TELL” (add in some hand gestures to really sound convincing). 

The word tagliatelle actually originates from the Italian word “to cut,” so essentially, when you are saying tagliatelle, you are saying “cut up.” 

Which, if you understand how this pasta is made, makes sense. 

But first things first, where did this tasty dish come from? 

Tagliatelle is believed to have originated in the Northern parts of Italy, specifically in Romagna and Marche. 

At its core, it is made from eggs and a type of wheat flour known as “semolina.” 

When it comes to the preparation, the tagliatelle dough is rolled out and cut into strips or ribbons approximately ⅜ inches thick. 

Although you can find it dried, it is more often available in fresh form, which is preferable as fresh pasta typically only takes around 2 minutes to reach the “al dente” state, while dried pasta can take up to 10 minutes (not a significant difference, but when you’re hungry every minute feels like an hour). 

Now, although pasta is great on its own with a little olive oil and salt, traditionally, tagliatelle is served with a bolognese sauce. 

Remember us telling you that this pasta was first used in the region of Romagna? Well, specifically, it showed up in Bologna, where it was served with bolognese sauce (ahhhhhh). 

Today, you can still enjoy tagliatelle with this delicious tomato and meat-based sauce

So now that you’ve got the context, why not try making this delectable dish straight from the comfort of your own home? 

RELATED: 15 Delicious Shrimp Over Pasta Recipes

Here’s what you have to do:

Recipe source: https://www.greatitalianchefs.com/recipes/homemade-tagliatelle-recipe 

Pro Tips 

  • It is essential that you gradually mix the flour into the eggs, as doing this too rapidly could cause the walls to break down. 
  • If you have a pasta machine at home, it is vital that you separate the dough into 4 parts before you roll it out and cut it. 
  • Make sure you cook the pasta ribbons within 3 hours of making them.
  • Alternatively, you can also freeze the ribbons.
    • To do this, lay the strips flat on a parchment-lined tray and place them in the freezer for an hour.
    • Then, place them in an airtight freezer bag or container for up to 1 month. 
  • For a delicious bolognese sauce, we highly recommend this recipe: https://www.marcellinaincucina.com/tagliatelle-bolognese/#recipe 

Fettuccine 

Because we told you how to pronounce tagliatelle, it’s only fair that we also give you a lesson on the pronunciation of fettuccine. 

The correct way to say fettuccine is “fett-oo-CHEE-nee”. In Italian, this word literally translates to “small ribbons” (so cute, right?) and, like tagliatelle, is a fitting label. 

The biggest difference to tagliatelle is that fettuccine is cut into strips that are thicker and wider- approximately ¼ of an inch.  

Like tagliatelle, fettuccine is typically made with flour and eggs, however, vegan alternatives that omit the eggs can also be made. 

Fettuccine is most popular in central Italy in places such as Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. 

It can be served fresh but is most often found dried. 

When it comes to flavor, numerous artisanal adaptations of the original pasta have appeared over the decades. Some of these include ingredients such as spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and herbs (which is why you may find fettuccine in various colors). 

And although a fun alternative to the original is always a nice treat, sometimes sticking with tradition is best. 

Traditional fettuccine pairs best with sauces that are heavier and creamier in consistency. 

Popular dishes that utilize this strategy include fettuccine alfredo and fettuccine carbonara, pastas that are especially common in the USA and Canada (apparently alfredo is not even really a thing in Italy). 

Served alfredo or tomato sauce as well- best with heavier and creamier sauces also fettuccine carbonara. 

For a delicious fettuccine alfredo dish, make sure to check out the following recipe. 

Pro Tips

  • If you’re unfamiliar with it, 00 flour is a very fine type of Italian flour frequently used in pasta and pizza recipes. 
  • It is essential that you gradually mix the flour into the eggs, as doing this too rapidly could cause the walls to break down. 
  • If you have a pasta machine at home, it is vital that you separate the dough into 4 parts before you roll it out and cut it. 
  • Make sure you cook the pasta ribbons within 3 hours of making them.
  • Alternatively, you can also freeze the ribbons.
    • To do this, lay the strips flat on a parchment-lined tray and place them in the freezer for an hour.
    • Then, place them in an airtight freezer bag or container for up to 1 month. 
  • If you require a gluten-free option, swap out the 00 flour for gluten-free flour. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between Tagliatelle And Pappardelle Pasta?

Like tagliatelle and fettuccine, pappardelle pasta also comes in long ribbons. 

The main difference is the width. On average, pappardelle pasta is approximately 6.5 -10cm in width. 

Because of the size difference, tagliatelle and pappardelle pasta typically aren’t used interchangeably. 

When it comes to serving pappardelle, however, like tagliatelle, this pasta is also often enjoyed with a bolognese sauce. It is also popular to eat it with a mushroom sauce. 

Fun fact: pappardelle translates to “gobble up” (you’ll know why when you try it). 

Fun fact 2: pappardelle has its origins in Tuscany in the 14th century. 

How Many Types Of Pasta Are There?

Heading to the pasta aisle in the grocery store is no joke and if you don’t have your list ready with a specific objective in mind, it can be overwhelming. 

This is no surprise if we look at the number of types of pasta out there. 

It is estimated that there are at least 350 different types of pasta in the world, with over 1400 different names (due to linguistic variations). 

Is Tagliatelle The Same As Linguine?

The main appearance of tagliatelle and linguine is the same (long ribbons), but there are two main differences. 

First, linguine is thinner than tagliatelle, approximately 4mm. 

Secondly, tagliatelle is made with eggs, whereas linguine is not. 

How To Make Tagliatelle Recipe

How To Make Tagliatelle Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Eggs and flour are brought together into a dough that chills in the fridge for 30 minutes before being rolled out and cut into ribbons. The Ribbons are then cooked in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. 

Materials

  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g semolina flour

Tools

  • Measuring cups
  • Wooden board
  • Fork
  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Plastic wrap

Instructions

  • Measure out your flour and place 180g onto a wooden board in the shape of a volcano or mountain and leave the rest in a bowl 
  • Create a hole in the center of the mound of flour
  • Fill the hole with your two eggs
  • Slowly begin beating the eggs and gradually incorporate the flour into them 
  • Continue this until all of the flour has been mixed in 
  • If you notice the dough is too moist, add the leftover flour that you previously set aside
  • Using your hands, form the dough into a ball 
  • Using the heel of your hand, work the dough for about 15 minutes (or until it is smooth)
  • Wrap it in plastic wrap
  • Set the ball of dough in the fridge and allow it to rest for 30 minutes 
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and set it on a wooden board that has been dusted with flour 
  • Roll out the dough and create sheets of pasta less than 1mm thick
  • To create the tagliatelle, cut the sheets into strips approximately ⅜ inch in width 
  • Create little nests out of the strips by twirling them gently 
  • Add a little flour to them, so they don’t stick together
  • Cook in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes
  • Serve with your favorite sauce and enjoy

How To Make Fettuccine Alfredo Dish

How To Make Fettuccine Alfredo Dish

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Eggs and flour are brought together into a dough that chills in the fridge for 30 minutes before being rolled out and cut into ribbons. The Ribbons are then cooked in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.

Materials

  • 2 large eggs
  • 200g 00 flour

Tools

  • Measuring cups
  • Wooden board
  • Fork
  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Plastic wrap

Instructions

  • Measure out your flour and place 180g onto a wooden board in the shape of a volcano or mountain and leave the rest in a bowl 
  • Create a hole in the center of the mound of flour
  • Fill the hole with your two eggs
  • Slowly begin beating the eggs and gradually incorporate the flour into them 
  • Continue this until all of the flour has been mixed in 
  • If you notice the dough is too moist, add the leftover flour that you previously set aside
  • Using your hands, form the dough into a ball 
  • Using the heel of your hand, work the dough for about 15 minutes (or until it is smooth)
  • Wrap it in plastic wrap
  • Set the ball of dough in the fridge and allow it to rest for 30 minutes 
  • Remove the dough from the fridge and set it on a wooden board that has been dusted with flour 
  • Roll out the dough and create sheets of pasta less than 1mm thick 
  • To create the tagliatelle, cut the sheets into strips approximately ¼ inch in width 
  • Create little nests out of the strips by twirling them gently 
  • Add a little flour to them, so they don’t stick together
  • Cook in salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes
  • For the sauce, follow this link:
Jess Smith
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