Passatelli is a unique and delicious pasta that is formed in a way that is quite different from most standard Italian pasta. Passatelli are usually comprised of eggs, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese, rather than flour, and are traditionally cooked in chicken broth. Some variations also include lemon and nutmeg. Generally, Passatelli can be found in the Romagna region of Italy, but they are available throughout the country, as well as in traditional Italian restaurants across the world. The noodles themselves are reminiscent of rustic gnocchi noodles, and sometimes even more similar to German spaetzle.
Unlike many other kinds of pasta, it is difficult to find dried Passatelli noodles in stores, which is why most recipes call for freshly made ones. They are relatively simple to put together, and the difference is easily noticeable. Here are some of the best Passatelli recipes that are sure to excite both you and any dinner guests.
1. Dry Passatelli Pasta “Passatelli Asciutti”
While many Pasatelli recipes are served in broth or as part of a soup, they can be enjoyed drained and tossed with a variety of sauces as well. This Passatelli Asciutti features a taleggio fondue cheese sauce that makes for a rich, creamy pasta with a delightful texture. While the sauce recipe is easy to follow and calls for Speck, you can customize your flavorings according to your preferences! You can choose to use cured ham, bresaola, or prosciutto for a salty, meaty flavor. If you want something lighter, herbaceous greens like basil, arugula, or spinach can provide a perfect complement to the rich sauce.
Get the full recipe and directions from Giallo Zafferano.
2. Passatelli in Brodo
The base of this dish – a Brodo bone broth – is a savory liquid with a fantastic mouthfeel that pairs perfectly with the chewy, eggy Passatelli noodles. You’ll want to cook the broth as the fats and collagen are drawn out of the chicken bones. Once your broth is cooked, you are ready to tear off your noodles or use a potato ricer, which is what this particular recipe calls for. After that, cover with broth, and this dish is pretty much ready to go. It may not seem like much, but this is sure to remind you of your favorite chicken noodle soup with fresher, chewier noodles that change the whole profile of the dish.
Get the full recipe and directions from here.
3. Passatelli in Tomato Sauce
For those who just can’t get enough of the classic Italian red sauce dishes, this is a fantastic dish that combines the rustic Passatelli with something a little bit more modern. The rich egg-based noodles are great in the acidic, sweet, and savory tomato sauce that features fresh oregano. We also recommend trying basil for something even more fragrant (and of course there’s no problem with using both!) Once the sauce and Passatelli are cooked, this is basically ready to eat after garnishing with olive tapenade and capers, which both bring a nice briny finish to balance out the umami in the dish. This is a dish that shouldn’t take more than an hour to put together but packs the flavorful punch of something that might take all day.
Get the full recipe and directions from La Cucina Italiana.
4. Passatelli with Vegetable Ragu
Ragu of any type is a great partner for Passatelli, but this vegetable Ragu brings a summery, lighter feel to the dish. The eggplant and zucchini are meaty enough to keep you satisfied, but not so rich that they’ll weigh you down after eating. The cherry tomatoes introduce a sweet, acidic pop of flavor that balances everything out beautifully. This specific recipe adds a slight twist to the traditional Passatelli, adding cream cheese for a bit more flavor and a firmer texture that helps the pasta hold up to the vegetables. The Ragu calls for white wine, but you can substitute apple cider vinegar or chicken broth in a pinch. Garnishing with basil helps to brighten everything up at the end.
Get the full recipe and directions from Great Italian Chefs.
5. Baked Passatelli with Pancetta and Pine Nuts
While most Passatelli is simply cooked in broth, this dish calls for a second cooking, baking it with the other delicious ingredients. This makes for a crispier texture and a fuller flavor, meaning that you can expect to be properly satiated after eating. Toasted pine nuts and a generous heap of parmesan cheese add a nutty sweetness to the dish, while cooked pancetta brings a meaty, salty flavor similar to that of carbonara. Butter is added before baking, making this dish even richer in texture and flavor. If you’re looking for a Passatelli dish that steers away from tradition and will provide plenty of sustenance, this is definitely one to consider. The recipe calls for a garnish of arugula, but basil, oregano, or spinach would work just as well.
Get the full recipe and directions from The Pasta Project
6. Chicken Soup with Passatelli
This is how Passatelli was originally meant to be served, and it is easy to see why it became so popular. There’s nothing fancy about this preparation, but sometimes it’s the simplicity of the dish that really allows you to appreciate it. You can use store-bought broth in a pinch but making your own chicken broth will bring better flavor and mouthfeel to the dish as a whole. One fun feature of this soup is that you can pretty much use whatever vegetables you want, and it will likely end up great. It’s an excellent soup for clearing out your fridge before certain foods go bad.
Get the full recipe and directions from Eating Well.
7. Spätzle-style Passatelli Sauteed with Radicchio, on Cheese Fondue
This version uses a Spätzle maker, resulting in thinner, German-style noodles that still pack a lot of flavors. The radicchio provides a nice bitter flavor, but just enough to balance out the savory cheese fondue without overpowering the dish. Cooking the radicchio in butter also helps to mellow out the peppery profile. The fondue sauce itself is delectable, making use of parmesan and Fontina cheese for a salty, creamy richness that pairs excellently with the Passatelli. This dish combines some of the best flavors and textures of two cultures with rich culinary histories.
Get the full recipe and directions from Disgraces on the Menu.
Which passatelli recipe do you prefer? The traditional versions, or the ones with a twist? We’d love to hear which one you would like to try!