Long and Smooth – Let’s Talk about Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle is a type of pasta that originates from the Italian regions Emilia Romagna and Marche. Tagliatelle are long and smooth noodles, 6.5 mm to 10 mm wide, usually served with a some kind of sauce.

Different cookbooks and chefs suggest serving tagliatelle with a classic meat sauce such as the Bolognese sauce, a mushrooms sauce, vegetable sauce or just a simple tomatoes and basil sauce. I do not doubt that all those sauces are absolutely fabulous, but I’d like to share with you some ideas on how to prepare tagliatelle onboard, during a summer sailing trip.

My favorite onboard recipe is tagliatelle with olives! It is a simple meal but I feel like I unite with the nature around me when sailing between islands where olive trees grow all over the place…


Tagliatelle should be cooked in boiling salted water with a few drops of oil, just to prevent sticking when taken out of the pot. Follow the instructions on cooking time very strictly so that tagliatelle become perfectly consistent, or al dente, as our fellow Italians like to say.

The sauce is very simple to prepare. Gently fry some pancetta on hot olive oil along with one clove of garlic and one bay leaf. Frying should not last too long while the oil should not be too hot – don’t overfry or burn the ingredients.

After you take the pan off the heat (or just turn the cooker off) prepare the topping – chop black and green olives and mix them with a handful of pickled capers, a few salted anchovies and extra virgin olive oil.

Stir the mixture and add some ground pepper and fresh basil before you put it in the still warm pan with pancetta. Stir the mixture once again in the warm pan – there is no need to light the fire again. Divide tagliatelle into portions; add the topping and garnish each portion with small pieces of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil leafs.


The majority of cookbooks and experts usually recommend serving the pasta with ground grana padano or parmigiano cheese but this time I would like to make an exception and recommend not to do it. I believe that cheese would kill the essence of olives, perfectly balanced with scents of bay, garlic and basil, which should prevail in this meal. Even pancetta could be excluded from this recipe so try to put just enough pancetta to enrich the meal instead of drowning all other tastes in it. Both red and white wine could be served with tagliatelle with olives, but I’d give white wine a slight advantage this time.

This meal is a typical Italian meal. Italians love pasta. When you charter a yacht and go on a cruise in Italy, you should try different pasta meals, pizza, risotti and desserts. You know what they say: When in Rome….

I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!

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