What is pappardelle?
Pappardelle are long, flat and broad ribbons of (traditionally) egg pasta, that originate in Toscana (Tuscany), a region known for rich, intense – and generally meaty – sauces. The large surface area and rough texture of the pasta make pappardelle the perfect accompaniment to more robust sauces and ragus. 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. Due to the decadent nature of these strands and the rich sauces that they are usually paired with, pappardelle dishes are often enjoyed in the winter months, or on more traditional ‘feasting days’.
What does the word ‘Pappardelle’ mean?
The word pappardelle comes from the verb pappare, meaning “to gobble up”. This is likely in reference to both the delicious nature of the pasta, as well as the less-than dignified manner in which it is consumed!
Wondering how to pronounce pappardelle? It’s actually fairly simple - to sound authentically Italian, pronounce the pasta ‘pap-par-day-lay’, with an emphasis on the latter two syllables.
Pappardelle vs tagliatelle - what is the difference?
Pappardelle fall into the family of what is known as “cutters”, which is a group of pasta defined by their long and ribbon-like shape. By this logic, tagliatelle belongs to the same pasta family. That being said, there is a noticeable difference between pappardelle and tagliatelle, the former being significantly wider in shape. While both are traditionally made from egg pasta dough (known as 'pasta all'uovo' in the native tongue), and are long, flat and (usually) straight in shape, tagliatelle’s width (as defined by Bologna’s chamber of commerce) is 6mm, where pappardelle are usually 2-3cm wide. Furthermore, the heritage of each shape differs - where tagliatelle are the pride of Emiglia-Romana, pappardelle are more associated with Tuscan cuisine.
How do I make pappardelle?
Fresh pappardelle is incredibly easy to make at home. Made from a simple egg pasta dough, pappardelle is a great shape for beginners aiming to improve their pasta craft. Follow our comprehensive guide to making fresh pappardelle from scratch to try the pasta for yourself - buon appetito!
What should I pair pappardelle with?
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 associated with this pasta. In lieu of wild boar, feel free to substitute another meat, such as pork or beef. The taste will differ slightly, but will still pair perfectly with your pappardelle. Alongside bigoli, Venetians love pappardelle with spiced duck ragù - you'll often see this pairing on restaurant menus scattered across the city.
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, subtly 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.
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