What is Pappardelle?
Pappardelle originally come from Toscana, a region known for rich, intense – and generally meaty – sauces. This pasta’s Tuscan origins date back to the 14th century. However, due to their extensive popularity, today pappardelle can be found throughout all regions of Italy. Pappardelle dishes are generally served in the winter months, due to the decadent nature of these strands and the rich sauces they are usually paired with. The word pappardelle comes from the verb pappare, meaning “to gobble up”. We guarantee once you've had the first bite of your incredible handmade pappardelle, you will truly understand the origins of their name.
Choosing the Best Sauce to Pair with Your Pappardelle
Now you know everything there is to know about pappardelle, it’s time to find the perfect sauce to pair with it.
The wide, flat shape and rough, porous surface of pappardelle makes them the perfect companion to a hearty meat sauce. Pappardelle al ragù di cinghiale, or pappardelle with wild boar ragù, is the traditional Tuscan dish featuring this pasta. If you cannot find wild boar, feel free to substitute another meat, such as pork or beef. The taste will be slightly different, but will still pair perfectly with your pappardelle. Just top with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and away you go!
Another option, vegetarian yet no less decadent, is cream of wild mushroom sauce. In Italy, gathering wild mushrooms – andar per Funghi – is common practice. This sauce celebrates that practice, with a rich, subtle earthy flavour and hearty texture. Our cream of mushroom sauce is an ideal match to coat the strands of pappardelle beautifully, creating an irresistible dish.
The final pairing we recommend is a slow-cooked lamb ragù. A simple lamb ragù is a reflection of the historical poverty of Basilicata, a region in southern Italy. The rugged landscape made Basilicata known for its sheep, as not much else would grow there. The secret to creating a wonderful lamb ragù is time! This allows each simple but essential element to meld together. The long strands of pappardelle will catch every last drop of this delicious lamb ragù.
Chef’s tip: Be sure to think ahead about which sauce you want to pair with your pappardelle! Timing is important when making pappardelle pasta as you don’t want your pasta to become too dry to work.
Our Fresh Pappardelle Recipe
So without further ado, here is our step-by-step guide to making your very own fresh pappardelle. You can also follow along as our Head Chef Roberta shows you how to make pappardelle in the video below.
Step 1: Make the Pasta Dough
The first step to making pappardelle pasta, like many Italian pasta shapes, starts with a traditional egg-based pasta dough. Pasta dough is very simple to make, with the key ingredients being just egg and Doppio Zero or ‘00’ flour. Be sure to choose ‘00’ flour as this is the best for pasta dough. As it's a particularly hard variety of flour without any leavening, ‘00’ flour helps the pasta to hold its shape without incorporating air into the dough.
Never made pasta dough before? No problem. Simply follow our Definitive Guide to Making Homemade Pasta which has simple step-by-step instructions on the whole process. Once you have your sheets of rolled-out pasta dough, come on back to learn the intricacies of making pappardelle pasta.
Step 2: Roll and Cut Your Pappardelle
- As you now have sheets of rolled-out pasta dough, called sfoglia, you are ready to cut your pappardelle. First, ensure that your sfoglia is homogenous, with a thickness of about 1-2mm.
- To make sure your pasta does not dry out before you have the chance to cut it into the pappardelle ribbons, cover any sheets not being worked with a clean cloth.
- Choose one of the sheets of dough and place it on a clean and lightly floured cutting board or work surface.
- If you are using a rolling pin cutter designed for pappardelle (with ridges about 10-15mm apart), simply cut the dough into strips, trimming uneven edges if necessary.
- Alternatively, if using a knife, sprinkle enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking to itself and roll the dough carefully. Trim the end edges of your roll to be even, then cut into strips with a width of 10-15mm.
- Gently lift the pasta strips in the air and place them carefully onto a dishtowel, make sure they are separated.
- Repeat with the remaining sheets of dough.
Chef’s tip: When making pappardelle pasta, it is important to remember that flour is your friend! If your pappardelle gets stuck together it will not cook correctly (and won’t look as appealing when served). Any time you notice the dough getting sticky, just sprinkle with flour and continue.
Step 3: Cook and Serve Your Pappardelle
Chef’s Tip: Save 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water to add to your sauce. The starch and salt in the pasta water adds flavour and helps thicken the sauce. This works for any type of sauce, from a wild boar ragù to a cream of wild mushroom sauce!
- At this point, you know how to make pappardelle and are ready to cook your pasta. If you find you've made too much, you can keep your pasta in the fridge for 1 - 2 days or freeze for up to a month. If freezing, seperate each sheet of pasta and lay flat on a tray lined with parchment. Once frozen, transfer the pasta to a container or bag and enjoy it at a later date.
- As fresh pappardelle only takes 3 - 4 minutes to cook, be sure that your sauce is ready, as cooked pasta is best eaten immediately.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a generous amount of salt.
- Add pasta and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until al dente. To ensure this is the case, make sure you taste a strand of pappardelle. Strain the pasta and mix with your sauce. Top with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Buon appetito!
Now that you have your own delicious dish of pappardelle pasta, share your creations with us, tagging #pastaevangelists on Instagram.
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