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Passatelli are a first course dumpling soup, hot and savoury, typical of the cuisine of Emilia Romagna; it is a type of fresh cheese dumplings made of eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs, nutmeg and grated lemon zest. The dough is crushed with a special perforated metal disc called “ferro dei passatelli” or a potato ricer to get small curved cylinder dumplings that are quickly cooked into boiling chicken broth or stock. Imagine them fragrant, with a rustic flavour and pasty consistency, delicious! The Italian tradition sees Passatelli served for Christmas lunch..


(for 4 servings)

  • 4 eggs

  • 150 gr of breadcrumbs (made of common bread, simple of water and flour, without additional fats)

  • 250 g of grated parmesan cheese

  • zest of half a lemon

  • nutmeg to taste

  • salt up to taste

  • 1 liter of broth (chicken or guineafowls and capon for better results)


First, beat the eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt, then add the breadcrumbs previously mixed with the parmesan and grated lemon zest (only the yellow part) and nutmeg. Make the dough medium firm and elastic. Meanwhile, bring to a boil the previously prepared broth.

When the dough is ready, mash small potato sized pieces of dough with a potato ricer directly into the boiling broth. Use the blade of a knife to cut the Passatelli to about 6 cm long (not too short).

Here are your Passatelli, serve them piping hot with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese on top.

Their name has derived from the Italian word “passare” (to pass) as this pasta shape is obtained by using a typical potato masher.

There is a quarrel between Marche Region (Pesaro area) and Emilia Romagna Region for the authorship of this ancient dish, originally made by farmers to recover food such as stale bread, dry cheese, with the addition of fresh food. Today Passatelli are classified as Traditional Italian agro-food products (PAT) and included in a specific list, prepared by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies in collaboration with the Regions.

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