Nonna’s Italian Pappardelle alla Fiesolana Recipe: A Centuries-Old “Peasant Pasta” Recipe by Ann Marie Patitucci

Nonna’s Italian Pappardelle alla Fiesolana Recipe: A Centuries-Old “Peasant Pasta” Recipe

As someone who grew up with an Italian American mom who loved to cook, surrounded by a big Italian family, I appreciate Italian food and love both the recipes I grew up with and those that are new(er) to me. Pappardelle alla Fiesolana is a good example. This is a delicious, beautiful Italian pasta recipe that I did not eat as a child.

Pappardelle alla Fiesolana is traditional, authentic Italian comfort food (my kind of food!). The recipe originated centuries ago just outside Florence (I love Florence, Italy!), in a town called Fiesole. The popular dish, known as “peasant food” or “peasant pasta,” was commonly served during the holidays. The sauce was generally made with flat, large homemade pasta. It was a simple béchamel with the addition of small savory ingredients. What a gift in the form of comfort food!

Like with many traditional dishes, this Pappardelle alla Fiesolana recipe has changed over time, as it has been passed down through the generations. This Pappardelle alla Fiesolana sauce contains cream, tomatoes, cheese and either pancetta or smoked bacon (this particular recipe calls for bacon). I just can’t believe that such an easy recipe with so few ingredients can be bursting with so much flavor!

This dish is traditionally made with homemade pasta, but I used store-bought pasta. By all means, make homemade pasta if you’d like, but the store-bought pappardelle is absolutely fine to use. This is a wonderful weeknight dinner recipe the family will request over and over again.

Cuisine: Italian 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 pound cubed smoked bacon
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) pappardelle pasta

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Combine the olive oil, butter, chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cubed bacon and red pepper flakes, to taste, in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the onions are softened and translucent and the smoked bacon is heated through. 
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Add the cream and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste, and stir. Continue cooking until heated through.
  4. While the sauce cooks, boil pappardelle in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions until al dente. When pasta is done, strain and add it back to the pot. 
  5. Add the sauce to the pot and stir until pasta is covered. Sprinkle with more grated Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired.

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Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Oooh, I love that flat pasta, Ann Marie Patitucci . Have never made it at home and look forward to trying this recipe!
Italian comfort food is always a good idea.
Looks awesome ...and who can turn down a good pasta recipe? Cant wait to try
Add grated parm to taste? Oh-oh! Never give a cheese obsessed person free rein when it comes to quantity - with no guidelines. Could be a dangerous thing. Love the looks of this recipe. I'll try and restrain myself with the parm. TRY being the operative word here. Thanks for the recipe!
An oddball question from a newbie ... do you cook the bacon (and drain it) before you add it in, or do you cook it with the onions and such?
Ann Marie Patitucci
Hi! Cook it with the onions etc., until it's heated through. Hope you like it, James Bulcao!

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