Tagliarini is the name for “egg noodles cut in long, flat, slender pieces, narrower than tagliatelle.” That’s the definition I found online at Dictionary.com. I had to look it up because I wondered where the name for this dish came from, and lo and behold it came from the type of pasta that at one time was used in this recipe. But no more. The version I’m sharing with you today is the one made famous by my mom. It was so good, I would ask her to make it for me at least once a year for my birthday. When others would go out for their birthday, I would ask mom to make this dish for me. Seriously still one of my favorites.
It’s pretty simple and straight-forward, but don’t feel bad if it doesn’t come out perfect. It took me years to get it right and many times I overcooked or burnt it. But now, I’ve got it down to a science – a tasty science, but a science nonetheless. I’ve substituted different items to see if I could improve the flavor, but the simplest is the best. I love the contrast in textures between the savory ground beef and the crunchy corn niblets and the squishy whole tomatoes. And make sure you use plenty of sharp cheddar cheese. It’s a cacophony of flavors, but it tastes so good.
I love the mix of flavors in this dish! I’ve tried using other pasta, but the shell pasta holds on to the juice from the ground beef and the tomato sauce better than other types. I’ve also tried sausage rather than ground beef, but like the ground beef flavor better. It’s a better balance. I’ve used 90/10 and 80/20 ground beef but 85/15 has the right blend of fattiness without being too fatty. Have fun and enjoy this Craig favorite!