Today, I’m delighted to share my personal recipe for Tagliatelle with Cherry Tomatoes — a dish that’s as joyful and vibrant as a sunny day in the Italian countryside.

This pasta dish is simple yet full of flavors that can bring a touch of Italian elegance to any dinner table.

Tagliatelle Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Tagliatelle Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • About 14oz (400g) tagliatelle pasta (about)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14oz (400g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1.75 ounces (50g) grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Extra basil leaves for garnishing

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (for a spicy kick)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • A splash of white wine
  • baby spinach leaves

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water for later, then drain and set aside.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics: While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and, if using, chili flakes, and sauté for about a minute until fragrant.
  3. Cook the Tomatoes: Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and juicy. If you’re using wine, pour it in now and let it reduce slightly.
  4. Combine Pasta and Tomatoes: Add the cooked tagliatelle to the pan with the tomatoes. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water to achieve the desired sauce consistency.
  5. Add Final Touches: Stir in the torn basil leaves, capers, and spinach (if using) until the spinach is just wilted. Remove from heat and mix in the grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Serve: Plate the pasta and garnish with extra basil leaves and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts. Add an extra dusting of Parmesan if you like, and serve immediately.

Special Tips for Perfection:

  • Quality Ingredients: The simplicity of this dish means the quality of ingredients is paramount. Choose the best olive oil and freshest tomatoes you can find.
  • Pasta Water Magic: The starchy pasta water is the secret to a silky sauce that clings to the tagliatelle beautifully. Don’t skip this step!
  • Cheese Choice: While Parmesan is classic, feel free to experiment with Pecorino or even a dollop of ricotta for a different taste.

What is Tagliatelle Pasta?

Tagliatelle is a traditional type of pasta from the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions of Italy.

These long, flat ribbons are similar in shape to fettuccine but slightly wider. The texture is porous and rough, making it ideal for thick sauces to cling to, such as the classic ragù alla bolognese.

Compared to other pasta types:

  • Spaghetti: Unlike the round and thin spaghetti, tagliatelle is flat and wide. This makes tagliatelle better for heavier, meatier sauces while spaghetti is often served with lighter, oil-based sauces.
  • Fettuccine: Fettuccine and tagliatelle are very similar and often used interchangeably. However, tagliatelle is traditionally slightly wider than fettuccine.
  • Linguine: Linguine is also similar to tagliatelle but is narrower and flatter. Linguine is often paired with seafood or pesto sauces.
  • Pappardelle: This pasta is wider than tagliatelle, making it suitable for very robust sauces, often featuring game meat.
  • Angel Hair (Capellini): Much thinner and finer than tagliatelle, angel hair pasta cooks very quickly and is best with light oil or tomato-based sauces.
  • Penne: Penne is a tubular pasta with ends cut at an angle. It’s great for holding onto sauces inside its tubes, unlike the flat surfaces of tagliatelle.

Tagliatelle’s design is all about maximizing the surface area to hold onto the rich and hearty sauces it is commonly served with, making it a perfect pasta choice for a luxurious and satisfying meal.

Nutrition Information:

  • Approximate Per Serving:
    • Calories: 500
    • Fat: 15g
    • Saturated Fat: 4g
    • Cholesterol: 11mg
    • Sodium: 200mg
    • Carbohydrates: 72g
    • Fiber: 4g
    • Sugar: 5g
    • Protein: 18g

Dinner Table Fodder:

Did you know that Tagliatelle was allegedly invented in 1487 by a talented court chef who was inspired by Lucrezia Borgia’s hairdo on her wedding day? It’s a fun story, although probably more myth than fact, reflecting the long-held Italian passion for pasta in all its forms!

With each twirl of tagliatelle on your fork, you’re not just enjoying a meal but participating in a centuries-old tradition of Italian culinary art.

Buon appetito!

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