Passatelli are a classic Romagnan specialty, made with a cup-and-plunger-like device that forces dough through a plate with 1/4-inch diameter holes in it, thus forming strings that are called passatelli. In presenting them a century ago, Artusi suggested that those without a passatelli iron might make do with a pastry bag. You could also use a potato ricer with the large-holed disk. The beef morrow serves to give the passatelli a softer consistency. For 6:
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
- 3 cups (150 g) freshly grated Parmigiano
- 6 ounces (weight; 175 g -- this should be about 2 cups) bread crumbs
- 4 eggs
- A pinch of nutmeg
- An ounce (25 g) of beef morrow
- 2 quarts (2 L) beef broth
Melt the beef morrow over a low flame. In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, melted morrow, and nutmeg. The resulting dough should be fairly firm; if it's not work in some more breadcrumbs. If it's ridged, soften it with a little white wine. Let the dough rest for a half hour, and in the meantime bring the broth to a boil. Fill your passatelli iron or potato ricer with the dough and squeeze it over the simmering broth, allowing the passatelli to drop into it. As soon as the passatelli have risen to the surface turn off the flame and let the soup sit for a few minutes. Transfer it to a tureen and serve it, with more grated cheese for those who want it.
There are variations to passatelli.
Around Imola and Castel San Pietro Terme, cooks work a little grated lemon zest into the passatelli dough (use an untreated lemon).
Many modern cooks substitute unsalted butter for the beef morrow. This makes for lighter passatelli.
If you instead want richer passatelli, you can make them with meat. The procedure is the same, but you'll need:
- 1/4 pound (100 g) finely ground beef
- 5 ounces (weight; 125 g, which should be about a cup) bread crumbs
- 2 cups (100 g) freshly ground Parmigiano
- 2 ounces (50 g) finely ground chicken breast
- 1 ounce (25 g) beef morrow
- 3 eggs
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 quarts (2 L.) beef broth
These quantities will again serve 6.
The wine? Trebbiano di Romagna, or a Sangiovese di Romagna if you'd rather a red.
If you don't have a passatelli iron or a potato ricer, you could also use a cookie press.