Who doesn’t love a plate of homemade pasta? This easy Italian pappardelle pasta recipe is sure to become a family favorite! In fact, you can turn it into an occasion to have some fun family time. All you need is 3 ingredients, and a little patience.
I’ll be honest, I usually buy my fresh pasta at a nearby pasta shop. I hope I don’t crash anyone’s stereotypical dream, but that’s how it is for most Italians. Making homemade pasta takes some time. For many people, it is difficult to make it on weekdays.
That being said, many enthusiasts still love to make it on weekends. I personally find it very fun and relaxing. And as I mentioned, it’s an activity you can do with the whole family. If you have kids, I bet they will love to help you out.
There are many kinds of fresh egg pasta, and they are all made the same way. Today I want to show you how by making pappardelle pasta.
What is pappardelle pasta?
Like I was saying, pappardelle is a fresh pasta shape. It originated in Tuscany, and has been around for centuries.
It consists of flat, 1-inch wide ribbons of egg pasta that are usually served with a hearty sauce. Sometimes it can go up to 1,5 inches, making it one of the wider noodles we have in Italy.
The ingredients for pappardelle are relatively simple. All you need is:
- all-purpose flour;
- … and some time!
Yes, because although the recipe is really simple, it takes some time to make. The dough that you’ll make (spoiler!) needs to rest for at least an hour, or it will remain sticky and difficult to work with during the second phase.
How the photo instructions were made
Originally, this recipe was supposed to be an excuse to try out my new pastry board. I am trying to make a mobile kitchen, so a few weeks earlier I had bought online one of those silicone anti-stick boards that you can fold up and put inside a backpack.
I also wanted to try a new location for the pictures. I don’t really like the lighting in my kitchen, so I asked my grandmother if I could go and take shoot the recipe photos at her house.
As soon as she saw my pastry board, she said it was too horrible to show it to my readers, and insisted on using her old wooden one.
So far so good. My grandma is very generous and helpful to everyone, but she can be a little controlling sometimes. In fact, soon after, she said, “Wait a minute. Aunt Carla is much more experienced than you, better call her and let her make the pappardelle.” I tried to protest but she was already on the phone telling her sister to come up to her apartment.
In the end, I was relegated to taking pictures while my great-aunt prepared the pasta dough. And so far, no problem yet.
Until it was time for the dough to rest.
To make good pappardelle, the dough should rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Aunt Carla actually leaves it there overnight, when she’s working alone.
But grandma was afraid that we wouldn’t make it all in time for lunch, so she insisted on taking the dough out of the refrigerator after just twenty minutes 😀
After such a short resting time, the dough was too sticky and would shrink as soon as it was rolled out with a rolling pin, so our pappardelle ended up being too thick and too little wide. Also, they took more time to make. Poor aunt Carla spent at least 15 extra minutes rolling the dough and cursing every second.
For this reason, I do not have a final photo of the dish we made afterward. However, the other photos explain the process quite well, so I kept them.
Apart from this drawback, working together in this way was fun, and the end result tasted good anyway.
So here’s how to make pappardelle pasta from scratch the right way.
The first step is making the pasta dough. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour with the salt. Keep a small bowl of extra flour on the side – you’ll need it later. Then put the mix on a pastry board, use your hand to form a mountain, and create a well in the center.
Add the eggs to the center of the well and mix with a fork until you get a soft dough. Then knead with your hands, adding a pinch of the extra flour every now and then.
When the dough ball is smooth and elastic, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
After the hour has passed, take the dough ball out and let it get to room temperature. Then, put it a lightly floured work surface (you can use the pastry board from before) and roll it out with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/8 inch thick.
Now it’s time to cut the pasta. Fold the dough on itself like in the picture below.
Cut the dough into 1-inch wide strips. Unfold them and set them aside as you go through the whole piece of dough.
Your fresh pasta noodles ready to be cooked. Take a large pot of boiling salted water, and toss them in. When cooking fresh egg pasta, the rule of thumb is to wait until it floats back to the surface of the water. It usually doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to be al dente, so be sure to have your favorite sauce ready before that.
After all the effort you put into it, you don’t want your pappardelle to become sticky because the dressing isn’t ready! If you haven’t decided what sauce to use yet, here are some ideas.
My favorite pappardelle dishes
Let’s make a roundup of the best pappardelle pasta recipes.
I think that the ultimate pappardelle experience is when you mix it with a hearty wild boar ragout. That’s the best sauce for pappardelle pasta and any other type of egg pasta strips if you ask me.
If you don’t have it, any good quality meat sauce will be good, but I recommend making one with ground beef. Alternatively, use a good Bolognese sauce. You can never go wrong with that.
If you’re out of ideas, here are some recipes with meat sauce from which you can get inspiration:
- Our Bolognese Sauce recipe
- Maccheroncini Al Fumé
- Baked Cannelloni with meat sauce and ricotta filling
- Ravioli with hearty sausage ragout
Right after meat sauce, I recommend a white Boscaiola sauce. This one is made with mushrooms (usually white button and porcini mushrooms), peas, pork meat, parmesan cheese, and heavy cream. The wide pappardelle noodles are ideally suited to hold this creamy sauce and make an impressive presentation when served. Alternatively, you can make a simple wild mushroom sauce with garlic, fresh herbs, and white wine.
You can also dress pappardelle with pesto. It’s a lighter yet delicious alternative. Don’t use the usual genovese pesto, though. Let’s be clear, I love a good genovese anytime it’s on the table, but I feel pappardelle would be better with something like a spinach pesto.
No matter which dish you choose, these pappardelle recipes are sure to be crowd favourites! So grab some ingredients from your local grocery store and get cooking – your taste buds will thank you!
*If I missed your favorite pappardelle dish, let me know in the comments. I’ll try it out asap!*
FAQs about Italian pappardelle pasta
How long can I store freshly made pappardelle pasta?
Homemade egg pasta can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. However, I recommend using it within the first 2 days to enjoy it at its best. I’ll write a more complete post on how to store fresh pasta soon!
Are egg noodles and pappardelle the same thing?
Pappardelle is a type of egg noodle. As I mentioned, there are many of them, and the difference usually lies in how widely they are cut.
There are tagliatelle, tagliolini, fettuccine… pappardelle is probably one of the wider, and the one more suited for hearty sauces with big chunks of ingredients.
That being said, the concept of noodle can get lost in translation. For instance, here in Italy nobody would use it to describe lasagna sheets. How wide do you think a strip of pasta can become before it stops being a noodle?
Can I use pappardelle instead of spaghetti?
Yes, you can definitely use pappardelle instead of spaghetti! Although they’re very different in shape and the latter is an egg-less dry pasta, they can be used interchangeably for most recipes.
Indeed, I think that pappardelle bolognese tastes much better than its more famous counterpart. The texture of pappardelle pasta is slightly chewier than spaghetti, which can make the dish more interesting.
How long do you cook fresh pappardelle for?
As I mentioned above, the average time is less than 5 minutes – usually 3 to 5. The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the pasta, but you don’t need to count the seconds. When egg pasta is ready, it floats back to the surface of the water. When you see it doing so, have a small bite to check that it’s ready, and drain or wait a few extra seconds depending on how you like it.
Do I need a stand mixer or a pasta machine?
I think both are unnecessary. The dough can be easily kneaded with your hands, and if you used a pasta machine you would need to make multiple pasta sheets and then cut them separately. Better to roll the dough into a single piece, then fold it and cut it like I showed you above.
Should I use whole eggs or just egg yolks?
I prefer to use whole egg when making fresh pasta. It’s not as good looking as in those photos where you see lots of egg yolks in a flour volcano, but it makes the dough less dry if you ask me.
Can I use durum wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?
Durum wheat is typically used more for dry pasta recipes. For fresh pappardelle pasta, maybe it’s better to stick to all-purpose, semolina, and “00” flour.
Now you know everything you need to make some delicious Italian pappardelle pasta at home. If you have any doubt, reach out in the comments and I’ll be happy to help. In the meantime, here’s a complete recipe card with the precise ingredients and instructions. Buon appetito!Print