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Passatelli in Brodo

4-6 Servings

1¼ hours 30 minutes active

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In the tiny village of Monteveglio, about 12 miles west of Bologna, Italy, we tasted delicious home-cooked passatelli in brodo. Paolo Parmeggiani, owner of the small restaurant/hotel Trattoria del Borgo demonstrated the dish—made with stale bread, cheese, eggs, broth and little else—which exemplifies cucina povera, or peasant cooking. Passatelli are cylindrical dumplings—like fat, short spaghetti—made by extruding dough through smallish holes; the dumplings are simply poached and served in chicken broth. We found that in lieu of a traditional passatelli maker, a potato ricer with 3/16-inch perforations works well for extruding the dough. Another alternative is to use a cooling rack with a ⅜-inch wire grid (instructions are included in the recipe). To make passatelli dough, Italian cooks use stale bread processed into breadcrumbs, but since we rarely have leftover bread, and in order to consistently produce a dough with the proper texture, we use Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs. We highly recommend using homemade chicken broth. If using purchased broth, consider upping its flavor by adding a chunk of Parmesan rind and/or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes.




Don’t use pre-grated Parmesan or domestic Parmesan-like cheese. With so few ingredients in the passatelli, true Parmigiano Reggiano is essential for flavor. Purchase it in a chunk, not pre-grated, as the cheese loses freshness once it’s grated. Plus, if you buy a chunk, you will have a piece of rind to simmer in the broth as a flavor booster.

1¼ hours

30 minutes active


  • 4

    large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks

  • 3

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve


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Frank C.
December 6, 2022
Making this again
This reminds me of my Granny’s Chicken and Sliders. Just needs a diced onion floating around in it. I used a spatzel maker and just put the dough on it and pushed it through with a spatula. I thought it was easy and didn’t take mush time. Best of all, most of the clean up is done while the drought is resting.
Janine W.
October 5, 2022
Absolutely delicious. I have had this recipe saved for a while now and finally made it. I was a little intimidated that this would be a lot of work. However, it was SUPER easy. Also, as mentioned by another reviewer, definitely has a matzoh ball soup feel to it. Will definitely make it again.
Manal S.

Heads up, you missed a TK :) "We came up with a simple Instant Pot version (p. TK)"

Lynn C.

Hi Manal -

Thanks for the heads up! Our digital team is taking care of this as we speak.

The Milk Street Team

Mary Beth E.

Guessing a spaetzle maker would work as well. I had this at a beautiful Inn (Al Ciocco) in Emilia-Romagna when I was a bit under the weather. The chef Gabriella Costi made them from leftover dinner rolls.

David E.

I made this last month. It's in the pantheon. I would love to try this with matzoh meal for the coming holiday. Or matzohs processed into panko-like crumbs. Any suggestions or should I head out into this Sinai on my own? (I realize that real parmesan is probably not kosher, but do I sound like a I care about that?)

Michael K.

Pure comfort & bliss...I can’t recommend this more highly. Kinda like matzoh ball soup but with an Italian twist.

Georgianne M.

I am happily waiting for the passatelli to cool. My first batch didn't turn out as firm and puffy as the rest of the batches. The broth wasn't simmering enough. Instead of simmer, I'd say the broth is closer to a low boil. I'm adding some chicken to it since it's for lunch. Also tossing in a few peas and carrots just for giggles. I've tasted the passatelli. The consistency is like spaetzle. It almost looks like polenta in color. I used some parmsan reggiano and grana padano cheese. I thought it would taste too strong, but it does not. It's very good. It's a nice change from plain old pasta or rice in a soup.