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Jan 13, 2010 08:20 PM

Pappardelle - What's it supposed to be like?

So I just had my first taste of papardelle tonight. It was prepared w/ a lamb ragout & green olives. I was thoroughly ready to enjoy the dish, but the papardelle was paper thin. There was absolutley no tooth to it and it seemed overcooked, though for as thin as it was, it wouldn't be hard to do. Is this what it's supposed to be like? Or did I get a bad version?

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  1. From "Encyclopedia of Pasta" by Oretta Zanini De Vita, the entry titled pappardelle: "The flour is sifted and kneaded with eggs and water long and vigorously
    until a firm, smooth dough forms. The dough is covered and left to rest for
    at least a half hour, then rolled out with a rolling pin into a sheet, not too thin.
    This sheet is cut into strips or squares whose size varies from region to region.
    Factory- made pappardelle sometimes have curled borders. The pasta is boiled in
    plenty of salted water."

    The name pappardelle, however, is given at several points throughout the book and allows for great variation. And on the third hand, well-made fresh pastas are tender, not al dente. I would have to answer your question "maybe, but not necessarily."

    1. all you got was a dried version, like this (which i just had with a beef ragu)
      fresh has more texture and thickness.
      i've seen it cut wider than this photo -- even as wide as a skinny lasagne (if that makes sense). i love it with cioppino.

      1. there is good pasta and bad pasta. the wide noodles are used to coplement the lamb ragout and olive, which sounds great. try another place. jfood finds papardelle holds a nice amount of sauce and is great.

        1. Overcooked pasta are bad, whatever the pasta (fresh or dry).

          I like mine a bit more "aldente" than normal, smothered in ragu; like that, they are even better the next day!

          1. Seems like it was just rolled too thin for the dish (pasta with a ragu definitely needs some body, IMO.) That same pappardelle would probably be perfect with a light butter sauce. Just thw wrong choice of thickness for the application.