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Pappardelle - What's it supposed to be like?

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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) http://www.alescifoods.com/products/297
      fresh has more texture and thickness. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgur...
      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.

            1. pappardelle is not my favorite pasta in the world - so I dont have it often, but from what I remember - it's meant to be a bit thicker than paper-thin!.....and ALL pasta should have a bit of tooth to it!
              So maybe it wasnt the best version - no

              3 Replies
              1. re: NellyNel

                Well, it is just about my favorite, and yes it should be nice and meaty, something that's good with rich braises and gravies and all that evil delicious stuff. Even if you did make this fresh with a pasta machine, it should be fairly thick, and it should be allowed to dry on a rack before cooking. See-through noodles are NOT proper pappardelle.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  Will just nailed it.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Agreed. And, as you said, it is probably my favorite too. The braised meats - especially rabbit - and gravy, wow!

                2. My idea of Pappardelle is to take noodle sheets and make approximately one inch strips. For ease, I like to use lasagna pasta sheets and cut irregular widths, even better than straighr one inch widths for a more rustic look with meat sauces.

                  1. 'twould be heaven to merge pad kee mao (sp?) and pappardelle noodles -- esp. with a nice spicy thai stir fry (can i hear the lime juice a-'squeezin'?) or with a chunky cioppino (er...can't say it enough! ;-). ok, forgive me; i'm hungry.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: alkapal

                      Well, you silly person, I think you have the intoxication of it about right. Pappardelle are usually given over to things like Lapin à la Moutarde and wild boar braised in some kind of wine you can't afford. Give it some serious seafood and it would knock you into next Wednesday. Doggone, I love them big fat noodles.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        A trip to Trader Joe's is not complete without a bag of frozen meatballs and a package of pappardelle. Make a pot of gravy, dump the meatballs in to thaw out and get hot, and serve those babies over the lovely noodle ribbons.

                        A few short years ago, I didn't even know that there was such a thing as pappardelle. Either I'm oblivious or this is a fairly new thing on the cuisine scene.

                        1. re: Sharuf

                          Our local TJs scared the hell out of me a while back when the only pappardelle any of them had was that lemon-flavored stuff that we both found revolting. Yikes!! But it was a temporary outage. Yes, TJ's is the go-to pappardelle for sure. I like your gravy & meatballs thing, but I'll have to try that when Ms. NoCarbs is out of town ;-)

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            Love the lemon pappardelle from TJ's!
                            I have an extra olive infused with lemon and then I squeeze a meyer lemon along with vine ripe tomt's, garlic, baby crimini mushrooms and TJ's meatballs and its delicious..
                            Why do you find it revolting Will...always love your take on things!

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              Just didn't work for either of us. I can't think of much that it would work with, at least of anything we like to eat, with the exception of maybe seafood with a reduced-cream sauce. I prepared them very plainly, just boiled and buttered with a dusting of cheese. Your suggestion, maybe, but it appears that your fondness for lemon in general exceeds ours.

                              1. re: Will Owen

                                Fair enough Will..I so enjoy your responses and yes, I am a lemon freak!

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  Flavored-up pasta always strikes me as pointless. Can't imagine that adding the herbs, etc. into the manufacturing process will give results superior to the traditional flavor-bath before serving method.

                                  Methinks this is another example of the "let's tinker with it" syndrome.

                            2. re: Sharuf

                              Pappardelle seem to be new outside Italy, but they are definitely old and traditional in Italy and are usually found with meat sauces of duck or wild boar.

                              1. re: mbfant

                                the first pappardelle i had was ten years ago -- and i was not a big restaurant-goer to have been exposed to tons of different italian foods.

                        2. We make pappardelle all the time and only roll it to a thickness of the 3rd to last setting on the machine, so we make it thicker.