Tomato & Ricotta Pappardelle With Pangrattato

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This tomato & ricotta pappardelle is simple yet delicious! A flavourful bowl of pasta, topped with ricotta & a crunchy, homemade pangrattato.

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tomato & ricotta pappardelle with pangrattato

Pappardelle is one of my favourite types of pastas to make! Mainly because of how well it takes on sauce but also because of how easy it is to make. For this dish, we’re serving our hand cut pasta with a rich tomato & basil sauce, creamy ricotta & a sprinkling of homemade pangrattato (crispy breadcrumbs).

This makes a great mid week meal & is super easy to make. Our tomato sauce is well balanced & smooth, our pasta is made completely from scratch, the pangrattato adds extra flavour & texture and a spoonful of ricotta adds a touch of creaminess. It’s a real winner!

If you’d prefer to use ready made pasta instead, feel free! The tomato sauce works great with pretty much any shape…

How To Make Fresh Pappardelle

In Italian “pappare” means “to gobble up”.

Pappardelle are long, flat ribbons, of egg pasta, that are typically around 1″ wide. This type of pasta is hand cut & has a larger surface area, which makes it a good accompaniment to rich sauces like ragùs or in this case, tomato sauce.

To make pappardelle, you only need 3 ingredients. These are;

  • 00 Flour
  • Whole Eggs
  • Egg Yolks
fresh papardelle pasta

Step 1 – Making The Pasta Dough

The first step, is to mix the flour & eggs into a dough. You can either do this the traditional way (by hand) or the quicker way (in a food processor). Whichever method you use, the dough will need kneading for 15-20 minutes by hand afterwards, or until smooth. It then needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour before rolling out.

To Make By Hand

Tip the flour onto a wooden chopping board & make a well in the middle. Add the eggs & yolks into the well & beat together with a fork. Next, use your fork to gradually bring in enough flour from the outside of the well to form a thick mixture. Then use your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour, to form a rough dough.

Continue kneading the dough by hand until smooth, this will take around 20 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm & leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is best).

To Make In A Food Processor

Place the flour, eggs & yolks into a food processor & pulse until a rough dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a work surface (a wooden chopping board is best) & knead until you have a smooth dough, this will take a good 20 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm & leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is best).

Step 2 – Rolling Out The Pasta

To roll out, take the pasta dough out of the fridge & cut into 4 pieces. Next, take a piece of pasta (leaving the other 3 pieces covered in clingfilm) & using a rolling pin, roll out on a semolina-dusted worksurface, into a 5mm thick disc.

Using a pasta machine, roll the disc of pasta out through the thickest setting then fold in half & roll through the machine again. Repeat this 3-4 more times or until you have a rectangle of pasta, the same width as the machine.

Next, roll the dough out to the 3rd thinnest setting (on most machines this will be no.7), making sure to roll the dough through each setting twice.

Cut the sheet of pasta into 3 equal pieces (each piece being around 25cm long).

Step 3 – Cutting Into Pappardelle

To cut into pappardelle, dust a sheet of pasta with semolina then fold in half widthways. Fold the dough in half again then cut into 1″ wide ribbons.

Repeat with the rest of the pasta sheets then unroll the ribbons & arrange into a neat pile on a baking tray that has been dusted with semolina. This is one portion.

Repeat the above process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Cover the pasta tray with clingfilm until ready to cook.

Step 4 – Cooking

To cook, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Season well with salt then carefully drop in the pappardelle & cook for 2-3 minutes, until al dente. Make sure to keep hold of your pasta water, to thin out your sauce as necessary.

pasta ribbons
Cut the pasta into 1″ ribbons…

How To Store Fresh Pappardelle

Once you have cut your pasta into pappardelle, it can be cooked immediately, stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

Storing In The Fridge

To store in the fridge, wrap the tray of pasta with clingfilm or transfer into an airtight container. Use within 2 days.

Storing In The Freezer

To store in the freezer, place the portions of pappardelle on a tray, freeze until firm then transfer to freezer bags. Use within 1 month.

Tips For Pasta Making

  • Use a good 00 flour. I like Caputo best!
  • Knead the pasta dough for at least 15 minutes by hand.
  • Giving the pasta dough an overnight rest in the fridge is best but an hour or two will work as well.
  • Make sure to dust the pasta with semolina before rolling with the pasta machine & after cutting into pappardelle. This will stop it sticking.

Pangrattato

What Is Pangrattato?

Pangrattato is also known as “poor man’s parmesan” & is made of toasted breadcrumbs. This is used to top pasta, typically in place of parmesan & is often flavoured with garlic & herbs.

For this recipe, we’re making a pangrattato, flavoured with garlic, parmesan, fresh parsley & lemon zest. This complements our tomato sauce nicely but would also work with most other sauces.

How To Make

To make the pangrattato, cut the crusts off 3 slices of white bread then tear into pieces & place into a food processor along with some sliced garlic. Blitz into breadcrumbs.

Next, add a splash of olive oil into a frying pan, set over a medium heat. Once hot, add in your breadcrumbs, season with salt & pepper then fry until golden brown & crispy. Stir in grated parmesan then once melted, remove from the heat & leave to cool completely.

Once cool, blitz the breadcrumbs up again, in the food processor then stir in chopped parsley & lemon zest.

parmesan pangrattato

Ingredients Used For Tomato & Ricotta Pappardelle

Tomatoes

We need a tin of tomatoes & a tablespoon of tomato paste for this sauce. A good tin of tomatoes makes all the difference here. I find that a tin of Mutti chopped tomatoes works best.

Onion & Garlic

The base of most tomato sauces. For this recipe, we’re using a finely diced white onion & 3 thinly sliced cloves of garlic.

Sugar

A small amount of caster sugar is added to our sauce whilst it is cooking. This cuts through the acidity of the tomatoes, making a more balanced sauce, without making it sweet.

Balsamic Vinegar

Tomatoes & balsamic vinegar is a classic pairing & adding a spoonful or two to tomato sauce, adds another layer of flavour & balance.

Basil

For this sauce, we’re making use of both the basil’s stalks & leaves. For the best flavour, the stalks are cooked with the onion & garlic and the leaves are added in at the end, before the sauce is blitzed up in a jug blender.

Chilli Flakes

To give our tomato sauce a subtle hit of spice, we’re adding in a small amount of dried chilli flakes. If you’d prefer a hotter sauce, add in extra chilli & if you’d prefer no spice, leave the chilli out completely.

Ricotta

Finishing with ricotta adds a touch of creaminess to our pasta. You could use mascarpone here instead, if you’d prefer.

tomato basil pasta sauce
The blitzed tomato sauce

How To Make Tomato & Ricotta Pappardelle

Step 1 – Sauce Prep

First up, we need to prep the veg & herbs for our sauce. To do this, peel both the onion & garlic then finely dice the onion & thinly slice the cloves of garlic. Next, pick the basil from the stalks & set aside for later.

Step 2 – Cooking The Sauce

To cook the sauce, place a large saucepan over a medium heat then add in olive oil. Once hot, add in the diced onion, season with a pinch of salt then cook for 5-6 minutes. Add in the sliced garlic, chilli flakes & basil stalks & cook for another minute.

Next, stir in the tomato paste, cook out for a minute then add in the tin of tomatoes, sugar & vinegar. Fill the empty tin of tomatoes up with cold water then pour into the sauce.

The sauce now needs to cook out, over a gentle heat until it is nice & thick. This will take around 20-30 minutes. Make sure to stir it regularly to stop if from catching on the bottom of the pan.

Step 3 – Blitzing The Sauce

Once the sauce is cooked, we stir in half of our picked basil leaves, season with salt & freshly cracked black pepper then blitz in a jug blender until smooth.

At this point, the sauce can be served straight away or kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Step 4 – Cooking The Pasta

To cook the pasta, we first need to bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Next, we season the water generously with salt then carefully drop in our pappardelle & cook until al dente. This will take 2-3 minutes.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, we warm the tomato sauce back up, in a pan (a large frying pan or pasta pan works best). Once the pasta is cooked, we add it into the sauce along with a ladle of pasta water. We then toss the pasta in the sauce, to coat, adding more pasta water if the sauce is looking a little thick.

Finally, we stir in the remaining basil leaves then divide the pasta between 4 bowls. To finish, we top each bowl with a spoonful of ricotta, a crack of black pepper & a generous sprinkling of the pangrattato.

tomato basil sauce

Equipment Used

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Tomato & Ricotta Pappardelle With Pangrattato

This tomato & ricotta pappardelle is simple yet delicious! A flavourful bowl of pasta, topped with a crunchy, homemade pangrattato.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Pasta Machine
  • Rolling Pin
  • Dough Scraper
  • Baking Tray
  • Large Saucepan
  • Jug Blender
  • Food Processor
  • Frying Pan
  • Tongs

Ingredients

Pappardelle

  • 300 g “00” Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • Semolina To Dust The Pasta

Tomato Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Large White Onion Peeled & Finely Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Peeled & Thinly Sliced
  • ¼ tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 50 g Fresh Basil

Pangrattato

  • 3 Slices White Bread Crusts Removed
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Peeled & Thinly Sliced
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 30 g Grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Parsley
  • ½ Lemon Zested

To Serve

  • 4 tbsp Ricotta

Instructions

Pappardelle

  • In A Food Processor
    Place the flour, eggs & yolks into a food processor & pulse until a rough dough forms. Transfer dough to a work surface (a wooden chopping board is best) & knead until you have a smooth dough, this will take a good 20 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm & leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is best).
  • By Hand
    Tip the flour onto a wooden chopping board & make a well in the middle. Add the eggs & yolks into the well & beat together with a fork.
    Next, use your fork to gradually bring in enough flour from the outside of the well to form a thick mixture. Use your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour, to form a rough dough.
    Continue kneading the dough by hand until smooth, this will take around 20 minutes. Wrap in clingfilm & leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour (overnight is best).
  • Take the dough out of the fridge & cut into 4 pieces.
  • Dust a worksurface with semolina then roll a piece of dough into a 5mm disc, with a rolling pin.
    Make sure to keep the other 3 pieces of dough covered with clingflim.
  • Using a pasta machine, roll the pasta out through the thickest setting then fold in half & roll through the machine again. Repeat this 3-4 more times or until you have a rectangle of pasta, the same width as the machine.
  • Next, roll the dough out to the 3rd thinnest setting (on most machines this will be no.7), making sure to roll the dough through each setting twice.
    If the pasta is looking like it might stick to the machine, dust it with more semolina.
  • Cut the sheet of pasta into 3 equal pieces (each piece being around 25cm long).
  • To shape into pappardelle, dust a sheet of pasta with semolina then fold in half widthways. Fold the dough in half again then cut into 1" wide ribbons.
  • Repeat with the rest of the pasta sheets then unroll the ribbons & arrange into a neat pile on a baking tray that has been dusted with semolina. This is one portion.
  • Repeat the above process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough. Cover the pasta tray with clingfilm until ready to cook.
    If you're making the pasta in advance, store it in the fridge.

Tomato Sauce

  • Pick the basil leaves from the stalks & set aside. Don't throw the stalks away, we'll use them for the sauce.
  • Place a large saucepan over a medium heat & pour in the olive oil. Give the oil a couple of minutes to heat up then add in the diced onion & a pinch of salt.
  • Fry the onion for 5-6 minutes, until soft then stir in the grated garlic, chilli flakes & the basil stalks. Cook for another minute then stir in the tomato paste.
  • Cook the tomato paste out for 30 seconds then add in the tin of tomatoes, the sugar & balsamic vinegar. Fill the empty tomato tin with cold water then add into the sauce.
  • Turn the heat down to low, season the sauce generously with salt & freshly cracked black pepper then cook out for 20-30 minutes, until thick. Making sure to stir regularly.
  • Stir in half of the basil leaves then remove the sauce from the heat.
    Save the remaining basil leaves for when we serve the pasta.
  • Leave the sauce to cool slightly then blitz in a jug blender until smooth.
    At this point the sauce can be used immediately or cooled down & stored in the fridge for up to 3 days,

Pangrattato

  • Tear the bread into small pieces & add into a food processor with the garlic. Blitz into fine breadcrumbs.
  • Place a large frying pan over a medium heat & pour in the olive oil. Once hot, add in the breadcrumbs, season with salt & pepper then stir to coat.
  • Fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring regularly until the breadcrumbs are golden brown & crispy.
  • Stir in the parmesan & cook until melted, 1-2 minutes.
  • Tip the breadcrumbs onto a tray & leave to cool completely.
  • Next, blitz the breadcrumbs up again in the food processor then stir in the chopped parsley & lemon zest. Set aside until ready to serve.

To Serve

  • Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil.
  • In the meantime, add the tomato sauce into a pan & place over a low heat, to warm through.
  • Next, add the pappardelle to the boiling water & cook for 2-3 minutes, the pasta should still be al dente.
  • Using a pair of tongs, transfer the pappardelle to the sauce along with a ladle of pasta water.
  • Toss the pasta in the sauce, adding more pasta water if the sauce needs loosening off then stir in the remaining basil leaves & take off the heat.
  • Transfer the pasta into 4 bowls then top each with a tbsp of ricotta, a crack of black pepper & a generous sprinkling of the pangrattato.

Notes

Make sure to give the pasta dough at least 15-20 minutes of kneading & at least an hour in the fridge before rolling out.
You can use any 00 flour for this pasta recipe. I like to use Caputo’s.
A good tin of chopped tomatoes will make all the difference to this sauce. I find that Mutti works best. 
Once made, the pappardelle can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days or frozen for up to a month. To store in the freezer, place the portions of pappardelle on a tray, freeze until firm then transfer to freezer bags.
Feel free to use ready made pappardelle if you would prefer. You will need 100g – 150g of raw pasta per portion. 

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