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.

Artusi’s and Alessandro Molinari Pradelli’s recipes are quite similar; I’ve drawn from Mr. Pradelli’s La Cucina dell’Emilia Romagna here. The beef morrow, which some cooks omit, serves to give the passatelli a softer consistency.

To serve 6, you’ll need:

  • 3 cups (150 g) freshly grated Parmigiano
  • 7 ounces (weight; 175 g — this should be about 2 cups) bread crumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • An ounce (25 g) of beef morrow
  • 2 quarts (2 L) beef broth

Melt the beef morrow over a low flame. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, melted morrow, and nutmeg. The resulting dough should be fairly firm; if it’s not work in some more breadcrumbs. If it’s too stiff, soften it with a little white wine.

Making Passatelli: Cut Them Free

Making Passatelli: Cut Them Free

Let the dough rest for a half hour, and in the meantime bring the broth to a boil. Fill your passatelli iron or potato ricer with the dough and squeeze it over the simmering broth, allowing the passatelli to drop into it. As soon as the passatelli have risen to the surface turn off the flame and let the soup sit for a few minutes. Transfer it to a tureen and serve it, with more grated cheese for those who want it.

Mr. Pradelli notes that around Imola and Castel San Pietro Terme cooks work a little grated lemon zest into the passatelli dough, and also that some people substitute unsalted butter for the beef morrow.

If you want richer passatelli, you can make them with meat. The procedure is the same, but you’ll want:

1/4 pound (100 g) finely ground beef
5 ounces (weight; 125 g, which should be about a cup) bread crumbs
2 cups (100 g) freshly ground Parmigiano
2 ounces (50 g) finely ground chicken breast
1 ounce (25 g) beef morrow
3 eggs
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 quarts (2 L.) beef broth

These quantities will again serve 6.


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Categories: Clear Soups, First Courses from Emilia Romagna

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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