Handmade tagliatelle with ragú Napoletano

Hand rolled and cut tagliatelle with ragú Napoletano (Cook like an Italian)

Put some time aside and make both the pasta and the rich ragu from scratch. It’s a bit of work, but it’s also well worth it.








  • 50 ml 1 3/4 oz extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 large French shallots or 1 small brown onion

  • 400 g  14 oz chuck steak, cut into chunks

  • 200 g  7 oz beef cheeks

  • 300 g 10 oz  pork ribs

  • 200 ml 6 3/4 oz red wine

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1½ litres 6 1/4 cups  passata

  • sea salt, to taste


  • 400 g 3 1/4 cups “00“pasta flour

  • 4 eggs

  • pinch of salt

  • semola (durum wheat flour), for dusting

To serve

  • grated parmesan



This recipe will need to be begun 1 day in advance.

Standing time: overnight

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until starting to brown. Add the meat and the ribs in batches, if needed and cook until browned all over. Add the wine and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the tomato paste, passata and 500 ml (2 cups) water. Season to taste, keeping in mind that as the sauce slow cooks the flavour will intensify, so do not over season. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-6 hours (or even 8, if you can!). You know the sauce is ready when the meat falls apart, the sauce looks deep dark red and has left a coating on the side of the pan. Remove from the heat, stand until cool, then cover and refrigerate in the pan overnight to allow the flavours to mingle and settle.

2. For the pasta, place the flour, eggs and salt in a large bowl and mix until a dough comes together. Tip onto a floured bench and knead until a smooth dough forms. Cover in a beeswax wrap or plastic wrap and stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Dust a workbench with semola (or “00” flour, if semola is hard to come by). Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 3-4 mm 1/8′ thick. This can take up to 10 minutes and it’s ok to use a pasta machine, if you have one. But make sure you don’t roll it too thinly, as this hand-cut pasta needs to be a little thicker than your usual tagliatelle. Once your dough is rolled, dust it with a little semola, roll it onto itself and cut it into 1/8″ mm strips (as if you were making streamers).

4. When ready to serve, return the ragu to the stove and slowly reheat. Remove the bones from the cooked ribs and break up the meat if needed with a fork.

5. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for a few minutes or until al dente. Strain the tagliatelle onto a large serving platter dragging along a little pasta cooking water, add the ragù and toss well. Make sure the tagliatelle is perfectly coated in the sauce. Serve hot with a dusting of parmesan.

Silvia Colloca shares her Italian family secrets in the brand-new series, Cook like an Italian.

One thought on “Handmade tagliatelle with ragú Napoletano

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