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 it to arrive in Bologna hungry and well prepared.
Passatelli is a pasta obtained by passing the dough through a special press called fer.
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 the farmer's houses the main ingredient was stale bread.
The spaghetti obtained after the passing through the press 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 of passatelli are very simple:
- bread crumbs
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 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 these qualities.
We unveil some of their secrets and techniques during our Bologna cooking class.
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.
Passatelli Restaurants 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
Passatelli Restaurants in Modena
Cucina di Quartiere
Via Pietro Giardini, 497, 41124 Modena
Tel. +39 059 839 5470
Ristretto Vicolo Coccapani
Vicolo Camillo Coccapani, 5, 41121 Modena
Tel. +39 059 839 6497
Passatelli Restaurants in Ravenna
Via Caprarie 7 - Via Drapperie 6 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 233349
Antica Aguzzeria del Cavallo
Via Drapperie, 12/b, 40124 Bologna
Tel. +39 051 263411
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
- Prepare the broth putting all the ingredients together and slowly cook it for about 2 hours.
Then remove the meat and the vegetables (you will eat them as the second course) and pass the broth through a sieve.
- Place the bread crumbs in the center of a cutting board (better if wood made) and create a sort of fountain.
With one hand make a hole in the middle and fill the hole with the eggs, previously beaten.
Add the Parmesan cheese, grated nutmeg, lemon rind, salt and pepper.
- Mix the ingredients with your hands until the dough reaches a certain firmness and elasticity. Let the dough rest at least 5 minutes.
- Then take a small amount of dough at a time and press it into the mold or a potato masher. Cut the passatelli of a length of about 4 cm and place them on a towel without overlapping; boil the broth and dip the passatelli. They will float to the surface when they are ready (4/5 min).
- Serve passatelli in a bowl with hot broth.
Have you tried passatelli in Bologna?
Did you cook it at home?
Let me know if you're in love with it as I am :)