Passatelli Pasta (comfort Italian pasta)

AUTHENTIC PASSATELLI RECIPE – ITALIAN DUMPLINGS

Passatelli (puh-ssuh-tell-e) are a real comfort pasta typical of Emilia-Romagna, Italian region.
Usually eaten in cold evenings and accompanied by a genuine home-made meat and vegetable stock can be a really cure for a bad cold.


My mum made these every time I got a fever and now I make Passatelli for my young son, even if he’s not ill, and he likes them very much (he wolfs them down! 😀 ).

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You can do Passatelli using a potato masher or a meat grinder with large holes (originally it was used a special Passatelli utensil, shown below, but it’s not easy to find it nowadays).

Due to the high amount of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese I suggest you to not use fake parmesan, or the result may differ a lot from the original recipe. You may use Grana Padano instead (another italian cheese like Parmigiano).

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Passatelli in brodo (Passatelli in broth)

Difficulty: medium
Preparation: 40-50 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams / 5.30 ounces / 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, extra finely grated
  • 200 grams / 7 ounces / 2 1/2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, extra finely grated
  • 3 tsp fresh ground nutmeg (grated directly from the seed is better)
  • 3 eggs
  • a pinch of salt

(Some recipes calls for lemon zest to be added in the dough, like it’s used in Romagna, but I think that lemon zest is not appropriate if Passatelli are served in broth. You can add lemon zest and reduce the amount of nutmeg if you’re serving Passatelli with a seafood based sauce.)

Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients to form a smooth dough. It has to be quiet tough, not like a pizza dough, but it doesn’t have to crumble away (if it’s too sticky add some bread crumbs, if it crumbles add few drops of water).
Let rest 15 minutes covered with a plastic wrap.
Put the dough into a potato masher or a meat grinder with large holes (0,5 cm / 0.2 inches diameter) and form Passatelli at about 5 cm / 2” length.

Put Passatelli in a plate and try to leave space between them to avoid sticking together.

Cook in a rolling boil stock (salted to taste) until they float (about 5 minutes). Put in a soup plate and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
They’re even better after 2 hours, just leave them in the stock and heat up before serving.
You can refrigerate both fresh and cooked Passatelli for a month.

Passatelli Pasta (comfort Italian pasta)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 150 grams / 5.30 ounces / 1½ cups bread crumbs, extra finely grated
  • 200 grams / 7 ounces / 2½ cups Parmigiano Reggiano, extra finely grated
  • 3 tsp fresh ground nutmeg (grated directly from the seed is better)
  • 3 eggs
  • a pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients to form a smooth dough. It has to be quiet tough, not like a pizza dough, but it doesn't have to crumble away (if it's too sticky add some bread crumbs, if it crumbles add few drops of water).
  2. Let rest 15 minutes covered with a plastic wrap.
  3. Put the dough into a potato masher or a meat grinder with large holes (0,5 cm / 0.2 inches diameter) and form Passatelli at about 5 cm / 2'' length.
  4. Put Passatelli in a plate and try to leave space between them to avoid sticking together.
  5. Cook in a rolling boil stock (salted to taste) until they float (about 5 minutes).
  6. Put in a soup plate and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
  7. They're even better after 2 hours, just leave them in the stock and heat up before serving.

10 thoughts on “Passatelli Pasta (comfort Italian pasta)

  1. The comment that the lemon rind is inappropriate with the broth is ridiculous! Depending on the area the passatelli come from (NOT just ‘the East Coast of Emilia Romanga; they are in fact from Bologna and Umbria, and Bologna is no where near a coast), there can be nutmeg or lemon or both. There is NO ‘lemony taste’ if prepared correctly-all the flavors meld into one delicious and mild taste. The thing that really pushed me over the edge was to say that the lemon would be better used if the passatelli are served with a seafood sauce- WHAT? Passatelli are a broth dumpling- they are not slathered with sauce. This narrow classification of something with lemon belonging only with seafood highlights very little knowledge and understanding of cuisine. I hope people understand the importantance of preserving the purity of regional history and cuisine, and the false comments do a great disservice to our heritage. THIS is how authentic food morphs into something it was never meant to be.

    • Hi Perugina, I’m sorry for your angry attitude but I want to ensure you that what I always write is authentic Italian and nothing else.
      In my town in Emilia Romagna, in seafood restaurants, Passatelli are cooked in a seafood broth, drained and then served with a seafood sauce. And it has been like that since I remember.
      Maybe you didn’t know?
      About the lemony taste, I have to suggest my readers what’s best in MY opinion, but luckily they’re not forced to follow my suggestions.
      What I’ve written is purely authentic otherwise I could have completely skipped the lemon part and wrote about using just nutmeg, but I wanted to explain every variation as always.
      Thank you, by the way, for your comment and to help me be more clear.

  2. Thank you so much Ilaria for this delicious recipe! These Pasateli taste like those my italian granma used to make!

    • Passatelli are a typical dish of the Emilia-Romagna East coast so usually you can find them only there served in restaurants.
      In Romagna, opposite to Emilia, they use to add lemon zest to the dough and reduce the quantity of nutmeg, but I think that a lemony taste is better to be accompanied with a seafood sauce.
      But maybe this is because I grew up eating and relying on this awesome recipe! 😉

  3. I actually have a Passatelli utensil, bought at an auction, haha, didn’t know what it was for. Sits in my kitchen kind of like a paper weight or a back prop for my cookbook. This is awesome.

  4. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I’m so happy to have found yours. It looks like you’ve posted about a bunch of traditional Italian dishes I’d love to try to make!

    • Thank you very much for stopping by!
      You definitively have to try Passatelli and if you do tell me how they goes! If you don’t have fresh stock, you can cook them in water plus 1 cube stock/bouillon then drained and served with cream and ragú (this combination is called Passatelli pasticciati – pron. puh-ste-chuh-tee). Ragú (bolognese sauce) is the next recipe I want to write… if I’d have just more time… 😉

Have you tried my recipe? Please leave a comment!