Passatelli in brodo

Nonna Violante (76 years) from Hotel Eliseo in Romagna taught me how to make Passatelli by hand whilst I was on a recent food tour of the area. It’s one of those food memories where if I close my eyes tightly and count to three I feel like I have been transported back into the cooking class. I can almost smell the aroma of the freshly grated nutmeg whilst listening to Nonna Violante explain everything with such precision. Passatelli are not only simple to make and are an absolute joy to eat but they are frugal, using basic ingredients and in essence cucina povera cooking which is in my opinion the best way to make, cook and eat.


Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

300g Stale breadcrumbs

200g Parmigiano

4 eggs

½ the Zest of one lemon

1 tsp Nutmeg, freshly grated

Pinch of salt

2 litres, chicken or vegetable stock


  1. Onto a wooden board place the breadcrumbs, parmesan and flour. Stir with your hands to combine and make a well in the centre.
  2. Crack the yolks and whole eggs into the centre of the well.
  3. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg and pinch of salt.
  4. Using a fork slowly work the eggs around incorporating the breadcrumb mixture. Work the eggs into a dough and knead for 3 minutes. If the dough is a little wet add a little 00 flour until the dough comes together.
  5. Cover the dough and allow to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  6. Place your chicken stock onto boil whilst you prepare the passatelli pasta.
  7. Cut the dough into small workable section.
  8. Press each section of dough through a traditional passatelli press or us a potato ricer with holes that should be 5mm in diameter (larger than a standard potato ricer).
  9. Pass the passatelii through the press and cut them with a sharp knife when they are 4cm in length. Lay them gently onto a tea-towel and continue until you have used all of the prepared dough.
  10. Cook the passatelli in the stock for around 3 minutes. Ladle into bowls, scatter with additional Parmesan and fall in love.

Carmela’s tip: When making Passatelli it is essential that the breadcrumbs are stale and the bread contains no olive oil as this will affect the overall cooking of the passatelli, making them fall apart. Many chefs also add a little 00 flour to their passatelli dough to help in combining the dough, feel free to do this but this it’s cheating!


This recipe has been taken from my up and coming cookbook ‘A Passion for Pasta’, released 2nd May 2017.