Why Pappardelle Is The Easiest Noodle To Start With For Fresh Pasta

With so many pasta shapes out there, it's hard to know where to start if you're learning to make pasta at home. From angel hair to bucatini, the differing names, sizes, and techniques can be intimidating for beginners. However, according to one expert, there is an easy choice when it comes to picking your first pasta to make. In a conversation with Mashed, Marc Forgione, the respected chef and restaurateur behind some of New York's most acclaimed restaurants, shared his take on the best noodle to start with when making fresh pasta.

Michelin-starred Forgione is the chef and owner of Restaurant Marc Forgione in Tribeca, Peasant in Nolita, and the year-old One Fifth near Washington Square Park — all of which center on Italian food. Needless to say, Forgione knows his stuff when it comes to pasta. The chef told us that the winner is the wide, flat noodles of pappardelle. It's a perfect shape for newcomers to learn the basics of pasta-making before moving on to more complicated types.

He elaborated: "The first shape for anyone making fresh pasta that I recommend is Pappardelle. You get to practice the feel of the dough, how thick you wanna make it, you get to use a pasta cutter, and it is the starting ground for eventually doing something filled."

An expert recommended pappardelle for amateur pasta-makers

Pasta takes center-stage at Marc Forgione's restaurants — One Fifth's menu features homemade agnolotti, smoked linguini, and rigatoni, just to name a few, and the chef's own Instagram shows an Italian version of mac & cheese with homemade cavatelli pasta and plenty of black truffle. That said, everybody has to start somewhere, and pappardelle is the perfect jumping-off point.

Before getting too creative with your pasta-making, you have to be careful to avoid some common mistakes with fresh pasta. Simple things like sourcing high-quality ingredients and using an accurate kitchen scale can make all the difference when you're whipping up your first batch of pappardelle at home. Making this particular pasta type will also allow you to practice some key techniques, like kneading, rolling, and using the pasta maker.

After you master a simple pappardelle recipe, you can move on to experimenting with the shape, even incorporating fresh herbs into the dough if you wish. As far as how you should best enjoy your batch of fresh pappardelle, you can't go wrong with a high-quality ragu or bolognese, but the options are pretty limitless. Pasta ai funghi is one classic Italian recipe usually made with this wide, flat noodle. The pasta's delicious texture and flavor are complemented by a simple but umami-forward sauce of wild mushrooms.