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Here’s a simple way to cook tagliatelle pasta: fresh or dried! Add a flavor-popping marinara sauce and garnish with basil and Parmesan.

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Got tagliatelle? This long noodle is delightfully chewy and one of our favorites for a satisfying pasta dinner. It’s slightly wider than linguine, making it a more substantial bite of doughy pasta. Covered in a tangy homemade marinara sauce and topped with fresh basil and Parmesan, it’s a stunning meal with little effort. We created this using a bundle of fresh pasta we had on hand and our family were big fans!

What is tagliatelle?

Tagliatelle is a traditional Italian egg pasta with ribbons that are long and about 1/4-inch (6 mm) wide. The name comes from the Italian word tagliare, which means “to cut.” It is slightly wider than linguine (4 mm wide) and more narrow than pappardelle (2.5 cm or 1 inch wide).

You can buy tagliatelle both dried and fresh. It is traditionally served with Bolognese sauce, but it also works with other tomato-based sauces and cream or butter-based sauces.

Fresh Tagliatelle

Fresh tagliatelle is available at grocery stores and specialty stores. You can also purchased dried, or make your own at home.

Ingredients in this tagliatelle pasta

This tagliatelle recipe is fast and easy to whip up, with a quick homemade marinara sauce. It uses our favorite Italian trick: dried tarragon! A little dried tarragon goes a long way in adding an herbaceous, intriguing flavor to this simple dish. You’ll want best quality canned tomatoes for this one. Here’s what to have on hand:

  • Dry or fresh tagliatelle
  • Garlic cloves
  • Unsalted butter
  • Whole fire roasted or San Marzano tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Basil
  • Tarragon
  • Kosher salt
  • To garnish: Fresh basil, Parmesan cheese

Use fire roasted or best quality tomatoes

The key to this homemade marinara sauce recipe? The quality of the tomatoes: use fire roasted or San Marzano if you can! Low quality canned tomatoes have a bitter, flat flavor that can’t be compensated with extra seasoning. Fire roasted tomatoes have a pure, developed flavor with less simmering time. Here are a few notes on finding best quality tomatoes:

  • Fire roasted tomatoes are a type of canned tomato that’s cooked over an open flame before canning. The flavor has sweet undertones before cooking, instead being of acidic like many canned tomato varieties.
  • Where to find them? Fire roasted tomatoes are becoming easy to find in grocery stores in the US; they’re sold by several brands (Muir Glen is our favorite). If they don’t have them, opt for San Marzano tomatoes or the best quality you can find.
  • Can’t find them? Substitute the best quality canned tomatoes you can find and increase the simmer time by 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar if the flavor still seems bitter.

Fresh tagliatelle versus dried

Fresh tagliatelle pasta is best for this recipe, if you can find it! We found ours at a local pasta shop. If you can’t find it fresh, dried works too! Here are a few notes to remember about fresh vs dried pasta:

  • The equivalent of 8 ounces dry pasta = 12 ounces fresh pasta. The fresh pasta weighs more because it contains more moisture.
  • Fresh pasta takes about half the time to cook as dry pasta. Fresh tagliatelle takes about 3 minutes to cook.

Note on storage and leftovers

If making this tagliatelle with fresh pasta, keep in mind: the leftovers don’t hold up as well over time. Fresh pasta is more fragile and absorbs the sauce during storage. It tastes incredible immediately, but it doesn’t hold up as well over time.

Dried pasta works better for leftovers. But either way, we hope you don’t have too many with this dish: it’s so good you’ll want to eat it all at once!

More ways to serve tagliatelle

This long-wide noodle works with other sauces, too! Here are a few more ways to serve tagliatelle:

This tagliatelle recipe is…


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Tagliatelle Pasta

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Here’s a simple way to cook tagliatelle pasta: fresh or dried! Add a flavor-popping marinara sauce and garnish with basil and Parmesan.


  • 8 ounces dry or 12 ounces fresh tagliatelle
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 28-ounce can whole fire roasted or San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce, fire roasted if possible
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or oregano)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh basil, to garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish


  1. Start a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until al dente, about 3 minutes for fresh pasta and about 7 to 9 minutes for dried (check a few minutes before the package instructions indicate). When cooked, drain the pasta. If it finishes before the sauce, toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Prepare the sauce: Mince the garlic. Add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt it over medium heat. Once melted, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn down the heat and carefully add the drained whole tomatoes, taking care as it will spit when the tomatoes hit the hot oil. Use a potato masher to break up the tomatoes into small pieces.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, dried basil, tarragon, fresh basil, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. 
  4. When the pasta is done, toss with the tomato sauce. Serve immediately garnished with fresh basil and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese (storing leftovers of fresh pasta are not recommended).
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Pasta
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!