Macugnaga, over the border from Saas-Fee, is quite Swiss in character. It's near the Monterosa network, but not connected. The skiing, with 38km of pistes, is fairly small and found at two separate places. According to many, it's a friendly place ideally suited to beginners, with an excellent ski school. There are few queues, it's good value, picturesque and wonderful for families. There is minimal nightlife and only a handful of restaurants, but all serve good food. For more advanced skiing, off-piste is the only substantial option but, with a guide, you can tour all the way over to Saas-Fee.
Overall, Macugnaga is a charming resort and a great choice for those wanting to learn in a quiet and scenic spot.