Exclusively hand-made with kitchen scraps such as stale bread, hardened cheese, eggs and beef marrow bones.
Passatelli, or rather passatelli soup, is a poor but definitely tasty dish typical of the ancient Emilia culinary tradition.
Learn all about them to arrive in Bologna hungry and well prepared.
The origins of passatelli
Passatelli is a pasta obtained by passing the dough through a special tool called fer (the iron).
It's quite similar to a ricer, formed by a slightly domed metal disc with a diameter of 15 cm, with holes of about 4-5 mm and comes with two side handles for crushing hard on the dough until it comes out of the holes, realizing that the typical shape: thick and coarse spaghetti .
In the past, passatelli were prepared only for important occasions: Easter, first and foremost, but also births, baptisms, or weddings, because it was necessary to use bread and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese: at that time a real luxury!
So at the houses of the rich passatelli were made of a lot of cheese, while at farmer's houses they were made mostly with stale bread.
Passatelli cacio e pepe at Aspasso Food Truck in Cesena
How to make passatelli
The spaghetti obtained after the passing through the fer are cut with a length of about 4cm and, according to the tradition, are cooked and served in beef broth as a soup.
The ingredients are very simple: bread crumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, eggs, nutmeg and lemon zest.
However, it requires great skills in the working of the dough to get the right consistency.
The so called azdore, the wives of the head of the family who represented the true guides of the house and the kitchen, certainly didn't lack of this qualities.
We unveil some of their secrets and techniques during our Bologna cooking class.
My grandmother Teresa preparing passatelli
Where to eat passatelli
Passatelli aren't just a soup but you can find them as a pasta.
Near Ravenna and Cesane you can find them dried and seasoned in various ways, such as with sauces based on vegetables, meat, including sausage, mortadella, bacon for Carbonara etc.
At Bagnacavallo (RA), at the fair of St.Michele you can find them with a sauce of Bursôn, a famous local wine.
Restaurant in Bologna
Via Francesco Petrarca, 11 - 40033 - Casalecchio di Reno (BO)
Tel. +39 051 6135389
Osteria N° 7
Via A. Costa 7, 40067 Rastignano di Pianoro (BO)
Tel. +39 051 742017
Via Broccaindosso7, 40125 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 234153
Restaurant in Romagna
La Baita Faenza
Via Naviglio, 25c, 48018 Faenza (RA)
Tel. +39 0546 21584
Via Andrea Costa, 31, 47034 Forlimpopoli (FC)
Tel. +39 0543 748049
Where to buy raw passatelli
Via Caprarie 7 - Via Drapperie 6 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 233349
Where to buy the tool to make passatelli
Antica Aguzzeria del Cavallo
Via Drapperie, 12/b, 40124 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 263411
Passatelli with porcini at Osteria Broccaindosso, Bologna
The recipe of passatelli
Ingredients for 4 people
For the dough:
200 grams of Parmesan cheese
200 grams of bread crumbs
peel of 1/2 lemon rind
3 tablespoons of flour
1 grated nutmeg
1 pinch of salt
For the broth :
3-4 liters of water
1/4 piece of hen
1 piece of beef
1 stalk of celery