Tajarin pasta with butter and sage

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This tajarin recipe sees silky thin strands of pasta doused in sage-infused butter – a classic recipe from Piedmont. Replace the Grana Padano with a similar hard cheese made with vegetable rennet to make this dish vegetarian.

First published in 2018

In and around the cities of Torino and Cuneo, tajarin (the local word for taglierini, which translates to 'small cuts') represents one of the most iconic shapes of fresh pasta. And though they might look akin to tagliarelle or other pasta strands and ribbons, what differentiates them from the rest is the high amount of eggs to flour ratio, or, more notably, the fact that only yolks are used in the dough.

Tajarin is traditionally seasoned with a simple butter and sage sauce, but it can often be found drenched in a sauce made with a local type of veal and pork sausage called Salsiccia di Bra too.




Pasta dough

  • 400g of plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 200g of egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 80g of Grana Padano, grated


  • Pasta machine


Start by making the pasta dough. On a work surface, make a well with the flour and put the eggs yolks in its centre. Beat the yolks with a fork, incorporating the flour a little at the time, until you see some lumps of dough coming together
Carry on with your hands, kneading the dough until you have a smooth ball –– it’ll feel a bit harder than regular pasta dough. Flatten it into a disc, wrap in cling film and leave to rest for half an hour
Divide the pasta dough into eight pieces and roll them out using a pasta machine – I go all the way to the lowest setting for this type of pasta. Hang the sheets of pasta onto a pasta hanger (I cover the back of four chairs with clean tea towels and use these to hang mine) and allow them to dry ever so slightly. This really depends on the humidity in your room; the dough should be dry enough for it not to stick together when you cut it, but not too dry so as for it to crumble and break. Each sheet should be about 1 metre long
Fold the sheets upon themselves loosely. Using a sharp knife, cut the folded sheets into very thin strands – about 3mm thick. Fluff up the strands to untangle them and place them on a wooden board dusted with flour
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan set over a medium heat. Add the sage leaves and have them infuse in the butter for a minute
Cook the tajarin in boiling water just until tender – about 1 minute. Drain and add to the frying pan with the butter sauce, tossing to coat
To serve, plate the tajarin, spoon some butter and a sage leaf on top, then serve them dusted in grated Grana Padano

Discover more about this region's cuisine:

Valeria Necchio is an Italian food writer and photographer with roots in the Venetian countryside.

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