Alice’s Passatelli in Broth

Passatelli In Brodo: Enjoy!

Passatelli In Brodo: Enjoy!

Passatelli are a classic Romagnan variation (in a broad sense, as they are made with bread crumbs and grated cheese rather than flour) on noodles in broth. In presenting them more than a century ago, Artusi said that almost every household in Romagna has a passatelli iron, a cup-and-plunger-like device that forces dough through a plate with 1/4-inch diameter holes in it, with which the cook’s helper could extrude them into the broth, and went on to suggest that those living in other parts of the country could make do with a pastry bag. Modern passatelli irons resemble potato ricers, but have 1/4-inch holes.

Alice, my Brother-in-Law’s girlfriend, prepared these for Christmas dinner, and they were a hit. Alice chooses to omit the beef morrow called for in the traditional recipe, which confers a softer texture, and instead adds a grating of lemon zest.

Making Passatelli: Measure Bread Crumbs

Making Passatelli: Measure Bread Crumbs

To serve about 8:

  • 100 grams breadcrumbs (a bit more than a cup)
  • 300 grams (a bit more than 4 cups) Parmigiano
  • About 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • A healthy pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 quarts (2 L) simmering beef broth
Making Passatelli: Add Grated Cheese

Making Passatelli: Add Grated Cheese

Mix the grated cheese and breadcrumbs.

Making Passatelli: Add Lemon & Nutmeg

Making Passatelli: Add Lemon & Nutmeg

Add grated lemon zest — note the dusting of nutmeg in the bowl

Making Passatelli: Add Eggs

Making Passatelli: Add Eggs

Crack the eggs into the bowl and mix well, first with a fork and then by hand. To make certain the dough holds together, Alice adds a couple of tablespoons — she goes by feel — of flour and works them in too.

Making Passatelli: Cut Them Free

Making Passatelli: Cut Them Free

The next step is to fill the passatelli iron with dough and start squeezing passatelli into the simmering broth. Alice squeezed them to a length of about 2 inches (5 cm) and cut them free with a knife.

Continue filling your passatelli iron and ewxtuding passatelli until all the dough is used up. The Passatelli are done when they rise to the surface.

Divvy your passatelli in broth into bowls and enjoy!

A more traditional Passatelli recipe (and a passatelli variation with meat), on a single page


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Categories: Clear Soups, First Courses from Emilia Romagna, Illustrated Recipes And More

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.


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