Pappardelle con Porcini (Pappardelle with Fresh Ceps)

You don't need a pasta machine to make fresh pasta -Aldo Zilli shows you how with his pasta ribbons in mushroom sauce
By Aldo Zilli
Pappardelle con Porcini (Pappardelle with Fresh Ceps)
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus 1 hr 30 minut
  • Effort: medium


For the fresh pasta:

  • 400 g '00' flour, plus extra for dusting
  • salt
  • 4 medium eggs, (or if you prefer a softer dough, 3 medium eggs plus 1 egg yolk and a little water)
  • 55 g parmesan, to serve

For the cep sauce:

  • 25 g dried porcini
  • 500 g fresh cep mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • black pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley


1. To make the pasta, sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound on a work surface (marble is ideal). Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Using a fork, gradually incorporate all of the egg into the flour. When everything has come together, work into a smooth dough with your hands (the more you work it, the better). Wrap the dough in foil and leave to rest for 1 hour before using.

2. Meanwhile, for the sauce, rinse the dried porcini twice in cold water, then place in a bowl, cover with hot water and leave to soak for 20-30 minutes, until softened. Clean the ceps and slice them finely.

3. Break off roughly a third of the pasta dough. If you have a pasta machine, use it to roll the dough thinly and cut it into 2.5cm-wide ribbons. If not, place the dough on a clean work surface dusted with flour. Using a rolling pin, starting from the centre and rotating the dough, roll it out to less than 2mm thickness, dusting with flour as necessary to avoid sticking. Roll up the sheet of pasta from one edge, using a lot of flour, and cut the roll, crossways, into 2.5cm-wide slices. Unroll the ribbons onto a clean cloth. Repeat with the other two thirds of the pasta. (Using the same method, you could cut smaller tagliatelle and even smaller tagliarini, or cut large sheets for lasagne or ravioli.)

4. To make the sauce, drain the soaked porcini, reserving the soaking water, and chop.

5. Place the onion in a large frying pan with the butter and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and porcini and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the fresh ceps and stir-fry for 10 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water - 1 litre of water and 10g salt per 100g fresh pasta - until al dente. If the pasta is fresh, this should take about 4-5 minutes; if dry, about 6-7 minutes.

7. Season the mushroom sauce with salt and pepper and add the chopped parsley. If more moisture is needed in the sauce, add some of the reserved porcini soaking water.

8. Drain the pasta and mix into the mushroom sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

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