This recipe has been a long time coming because I have wanted to make my own pasta for years and now I have finally done that! Hooray! You know how it is, you have to have the correct ingredients on hand, you have to have the time to do it, you also have to have the right equipment/tools to make the pasta. Everything but the stars and the moon have to be aligned! Having the right equipment/tools was actually the biggest holdup for me. Plus, I wanted a recipe that sounded good. Passatelli pasta was all that I dreamed of and that is why this post is my choice for this New Food Friday Flash.
To whom do I owe my thanks for this recipe? Mary Ann Esposito of the Ciao Italia! program on PBS. Thank you Mary Ann!
Here Are the Tools You Don’t Need
You don’t need a rack to hang these pastas up to dry.
You don’t need a pasta machine to make the dough paper thin.
You don’t need a rolling pin to roll out the dough
You don’t need to buy a special stamp to stamp special designs on the pasta.
And gloriosky, you don’t need to knead the dough!
Here Are the Tools You Need
A Cheese Grater
I’m assuming you have a bowl, a spoon, and a pot!
½ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup toasted bread crumbs
1 ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/8 – ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grate the cheese. I ended up grating too much but can you ever have too much Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese? I think not.
Add the flour. I made this recipe on a very damp, rainy day and had to add 3 tablespoons more flour to make a “rough” dough.
Add the bread crumbs. I grated bread crumbs a few days prior to making this recipe from an Italian artisan boule that I bought at Meijer.
Artisan bread crumbs that I froze
It was very good and chewy, just how I like it but I had to sacrifice half the loaf so that I could make breadcrumbs out of it. It wasn’t easy because I wanted to smear it with butter and devour the entire thing! After I grated it, I put it in the freezer knowing that I would use it for something!
Add the lemon juice and the zest. I didn’t have a whole lemon to zest so I added a teeny bit more lemon juice.
Add the nutmeg. As you can see from the photo, I have enough nutmeg to last the rest of my life.
Nutmeg and nutmeg grater
I bought this nutmeg online a few years ago and this is what they sent me along with all the other ingredients I ordered from an Italian supermarket in Cleveland called Gallucci’s. OK, I lied. You also need a tool called a nutmeg grater. But really, you could get away with using a regular grater or, heaven forbid, buy nutmeg already grated.
Add salt and pepper to taste. You don’t need much salt because the cheese is salty (and so is the bread) and we’re watching our salt intake, aren’t we? I only added ½ teaspoon. I don’t remember what Maryanne said was needed for the salt or for the nutmeg for that matter. I used only 1/8 of a teaspoon of nutmeg. (I’m saving them because I want to take some with me when I go. You know, like the Egyptians.) I’m kidding! Nutmeg is a strong flavor and I didn’t want it to overpower the Passatelli.
Gather all the ingredients into a ball. It will be “rough.” (Mary Ann’s words.) I took that to mean a shaggy dough. My dough was sticky so I slowly added up to 3 tablespoons more flour until it looked more “rough” to me. Cover it and put the dough in the refrigerator for 6 – 7 hours.
My ball of Passatelli dough
After 5 hours I took the dough out of the refrigerator. (I’m sorry. I couldn’t wait.) I got my grater and using the BIG holes, grated some of the cold ball of dough. Now I ask you, how fun is that? I suppose it doesn’t have to be a ball shape. You could probably form it into a rectangle. Whatever is easier for you! When you have a pile of grated Passatelli, slide them into boiling homemade chicken broth and boil 3 minutes OR until the pasta floats to the surface.
I had 3 jars of homemade chicken broth on hand but you need 8 cups of broth and I only had 6 cups so I made more.
Frozen homemade chicken broth
I had some chicken bones I was saving in the freezer and I also had some meaty chicken backs and bellies, and made another pot of chicken soup. Now I had more than enough broth.
Making more chicken broth
If you don’t want to cook the grated Passatelli right away, you can grate them and then put them in the freezer. If you do it that way remember NOT to defrost the Passatelli when you put them in the boiling broth. Just dump them frozen into the boiling soup broth and boil for 3 minutes OR until they float to the top.
Boiling chicken broth with my Passatelli
Homemade pasta doesn’t need to cook as long as store bought pasta so don’t boil it too long or you will have mush.
Prior to putting my ball of dough into the refrigerator, I was thinking how to make other versions, such as:
Use other flours like semolina flour
Add other herbs like minced parsley or powdered dry sage
Add one more egg
Use one LESS egg
Add minced prosciutto (is that a possibility?)
Use a different cheese like Asiago
Add cooked, minced spinach or butternut squash
Boil/cook the Passatelli then scoop them out of the broth and sauté them in butter
It seemed my luck was holding out for this recipe because the weather was taking a temperature tumble. If I had made it one day sooner, I wouldn’t want to have eaten hot Passatelli in 79 degree weather! Last night cold winds blew all the heat away and today is damp and cold with temperatures expecting to go into the 20’s by the weekend, perfect for a hot bowl of Passatelli! Sometimes being a slave to the weather is a good thing!
The Surprises in this Recipe
When I grated the ball of dough, it looked as though it was too soft and that the Passatelli would all clump together in the pot of broth. Surprise! They separate and rise to the top when they are cooking! I was eager to taste the Passatelli and took a spoonful of the broth and pasta. Surprise! I had forgotten there was lemon in the Passatelli! It was a nice, light-flavored surprise taste. I also wasn’t prepared for the softness of the pasta. Surprise! This recipe would make a great soup for when you are sick in bed with a cold. A hot, nourishing chicken broth with soft homemade noodles that slide down your sore throat will make you better in no time! This medium size ball of dough makes A LOT of pasta so surprise! I thought with all the cheese I put in the recipe (remember, I put in too much?) it would taste cheesy. SURPRISE!
I think I remember Mary Ann saying that this was an “old” recipe and that she wanted to keep recipes like this alive. I’m all for that. Sometimes the old ways are better. Like heirloom seeds for the gardener, this recipe is a keeper for the cook! Let me know if you make this! Your kids will enjoy watching you grate the round ball of dough into pasta!
I grated all of it then cooked and ate half and I froze the rest.
A delicious bowl of Passatelli pasta