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Tagliatelle vs Pappardelle (What’s the Difference?)

Pasta is one of those foods that’s so versatile. Not just because of the thousands of different recipes you can choose from, but because there are thousands of pasta shapes to choose from too. I know most of us probably think of angel hair pasta, elbow noodles, and bowties when we think of pasta shapes, but there’s so much more to pasta than just these kinds of noodles.

If you’ve ever ordered a plate of fettuccine alfredo, there’s a good chance you’ve had tagliatelle pasta before. These tend to be substituted for each other. If you’ve ever had a plate of pasta with very thick, ribbon-like noodles, that’s more than likely pappardelle.

These noodles are pretty similar, but their differences stem farther than just their slightly different appearance. So, what’s the difference between tagliatelle and pappardelle?

Tagliatelle vs Pappardelle

Both tagliatelle and pappardelle come from a family of pasta referred to as “the cutters.” Being from the same pasta family is one way in which these two kinds of pasta are connected. Both types of pasta are made from egg dough. The most significant difference between tagliatelle and pappardelle is their appearance.

Both are flat, long, and wide kinds of pasta. The most important difference between the two comes from the exact width of both types of noodles. Tagliatelle is similar to fettuccine in that it looks like a flat and long ribbon. It tends to have a width of about 6.5 to 10 mm. Pappardelle is much broader. Traditional pappardelle has a width of about 2 to 3 cm.

Tagliatelle vs Pappardelle
Tagliatelle vs Pappardelle

More About Tagliatelle

Tagliatelle is a popular kind of pasta worldwide, but it has origins in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. To be more specific, tagliatelle began in Bologna. Tagliatelle translates “to cut,” which makes sense considering it’s part of the “cutters” pasta family. If you were to lay fettuccine and tagliatelle side by side, you might not be able to tell the difference.

These two kinds of pasta look very similar but are different, just like tagliatelle and pappardelle. While there are no rules for what type of sauce you can use on what type of pasta, some sauces are traditionally made for tagliatelle pasta. When making a sauce for tagliatelle, simple sauces are best. Here are few sauces to make next time you prepare tagliatelle:

  • Rich meat gravies
  • Ragu
  • Mushroom sauces
  • Pesto

How to Prepare Tagliatelle

Cooking tagliatelle is similar to other kinds of pasta. The cooking time will vary depending on whether you use fresh tagliatelle or not. If you’re using dried tagliatelle, you will need to boil it in heavily salted water for seven to ten minutes. When you’re working with fresh tagliatelle, it should only take three to four minutes to cook.

More About Pappardelle

Pappardelle comes from the Italian verb, which means “to gobble up,” which is exactly what people do when a plate of pappardelle is set in front of them. Pappardelle pasta has origins in central Italy, specifically Tuscany. You can find this type of pasta in Tuscany as early as the 14th century. It became such a popular type of pasta that you can now find pappardelle in all the regions in Italy.

You can eat pappardelle pasta anytime during the year, but these noodles are usually very hearty paired with very rich sauces. Because of the hearty noodles and rich sauces, many people enjoy eating this type of pasta during the winter.

When preparing pappardelle, the best way to do so is with a hearty meat sauce. Some popular pappardelle dishes include:

  • Pappardelle Bolognese
  • Pappardelle in a mushroom sauce

How to Prepare Pappardelle

Most pasta has a similar cooking time. When you’re working with dried pappardelle pasta, you’ll need to boil it in salted water for eight to ten minutes. Due to this pasta being wider than tagliatelle, it usually requires just an extra 60 seconds of cooking. Now, when working with fresh pappardelle, it takes three to four minutes to cook, just like fresh tagliatelle.

How Many Types of Pasta Are There?

If you’ve ever been in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store, you’ve probably noticed there are several different types of pasta and pasta shapes. But how many kinds of pasta actually exist? There are at least 350 different types of pasta in the world. In addition to that, there are an estimated 1,400 names for all those types of pasta.

The reason for the larger number of names for types of pasta has to do with variations in words across the world due to languages and dialects.

Are Tagliatelle and Pappardelle Substitutes For Each Other?

If you ask someone from Italy, they may have a different opinion, but as far as substitutes go, the vast majority of people use tagliatelle and pappardelle interchangeably. Ideally, you’ll use them for their intended dishes, but when you’re out of one or the other, the other will work in a pinch.

At the end of the day, both kinds of pasta are going to taste delicious with whatever sauce you serve it with. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference.

How to Make Tagliatelle and Pappardelle Noodles From Scratch

The good news regarding these types of pasta is that they’re made from the same recipe. How you’ll differentiate the two is how you cut them. All you’ll need is flour, eggs, salt, water, and olive oil to make the dough. You’ll mix the appropriate amount of each ingredient together in a bowl. After this, you’ll want to knead your pasta dough for at least ten minutes.

Kneading the dough is a key step here. You don’t want to skip it. After this step, you’ll need to roll out the dough, regardless of if you’re using a pasta cutter or a pizza cutter.

Once you’ve done this, you can use a pasta cutter to ensure all your noodles are consistent, or you can use a knife or pizza cutter. Just remember, if you want to be more exact in your measurements, tagliatelle is more narrow than pappardelle.