You might look at this picture and think to yourself “what, exactly, am I looking at?” Well, my friends, let me introduce you to passatelli en brodo – spaghetti’s EXTREMELY tasty but, let’s just say, “less photogenic” cousin.
I assure you that what this traditional Italian dumpling soup lacks in supermodel good-looks it more than makes up for in flavor – and the comfort level is just off the charts. It’s super-easy to make, and it’s made even easier with Progresso’s excellent bread crumbs and broth.
I have a little story to tell about this dish. When Claire and I first started dating, she came over to my parents’ house to meet my family and have a small meal. Now, at my house, a “small meal” was one that did not involve adding a second dining table – we made do with adding every single leaf into the main table and squeezing maybe 15 people in elbow-to-elbow.
My parents were there, all four of my grandparents, my brothers, probably a few cousins… sort of a “my Big Fat Italian Dinner” kind of thing.
My Dad made passatelli (he uses Progresso bread crumbs for ALL of his recipes – he says “they’re already seasoned perfectly – you don’t need to do anything to ‘em!”), and what happened next is a little hazy for me – probably because I was already elbows deep in my soup at the time.
The way Claire describes it is that a hush descended upon the table as the bowl was set in front of her. She felt all eyes on her as she raised the spoon to her mouth and took a bite.
“What do you think?” someone asked.
“It’s good!” she replied (no doubt due to the Claire-friendly level of cheese).
“SHE LIKES THE PASSATELLI! Did you hear that?? She likes it.” Murmurs of approval and delight made their way around the table as serving and eating resumed.
We didn’t know it at the time, but that would be the first meal we would all share together as a family – that’s why it will always be near and dear to me.
The Passatelli Press:
There are a few ways to get the traditional passatelli shape. There are special presses made for this purpose but since these are essentially just a potato ricer with larger holes, I thought I might be able to make one myself using a regular potato ricer, thereby not cluttering up the kitchen with yet another one-use device.
I bought THIS ONE for less than $15 with free shipping from Amazon Prime.
I used the disc with the largest holes, though I did still find it a little hard to press the dough through. It worked much better after I opened up the holes a little bit using progressively larger drill bits.
The BEST way to make them, though – if you have a meat grinder or a grinder attachment for your stand mixer then you, my friend, are on easy street and I’m officially jealous.
In fact, I’m coming over right now to make passatelli. Really.
You can also save $1.00 right now when you buy TWO Progresso Bread Crumbs at Publix using this coupon.
Here’s the recipe – I hope you enjoy it!
- 2C Progresso Italian-style bread crumbs
- 2C Progresso Panko bread crumbs
- 2C grated parmesan cheese
- 8 eggs
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 2 boxes (64 oz) Progresso Tuscany Broth
- 2 boxes (64 oz) Progresso Unsalted Chicken Broth
- Parsley sprigs for garnish of desired
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the center; add eggs.
- Mix until a dough forms (a stand mixer with a dough hook is great for this).
- Turn out onto a mixing board; form into a ball.
- Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Cut off pieces of dough and roll into small balls (about the size of a racquetball or a lacrosse ball is good).
- Pass through the press, cutting off into pieces an inch or two in length, working in batches until you’ve used all of the dough.
- Bring broth to a boil in an 8 qt stock pot.
- Gradually add the passatelli by the handful, working slowly so as to maintain a rolling boil.
- Boil for 7-8 minutes until all of the dumplings rise to the surface.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
- Garnish with parsley and grated parmesan as desired.
Claire is a wife and busy working Mom to three boys and A Little CLAIREification is a lifestyle blog committed to bringing readers “Bright Ideas On A Budget” – from recipes, crafts and DIY projects to time management tips, meal planning and inspiration.
A self proclaimed CHEESE addict and lover of Sharpie markers in every color known to man, Claire also likes to throw a little fun and laughter in the mix as well.