How To Make Passatelli: the effortless recipe for homemade passatelli pasta

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
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120 g (1 1/4 cups)
120 g (1 1/4 cups)
1/4 tsp
Chicken stock
1 liter (4 cups)
Lemon zest
salt to taste

Passatelli is a recipe that hails from the center of Italy—all the way from the Emilia Romagna and Marche regions, and especially the province of Pesaro. The pasta dish is traditionally served on special occasions and holidays like Christmas Eve, New Year’s Day, and Easter.

The pasta gets its name from the way the dish is created. The fresh dough is pressed through the passatelli tool, and as it “passes through” it creates the elongated shapes that cook in a broth. Chicken broth is often used, and then it’s called passatelli in brodo—a classic soup.

You might describe the texture of this pasta as somewhere between pasta and dumplings. With a few humble ingredients like eggs, parmesan, breadcrumbs, and chicken stock, you can easily whip up this comforting dish. You will need a passatelli tool, though, so make sure you get one before you attempt this recipe.


Passatelli Tools

To make this recipe, you will need a Passatelli iron. The Italians refer to this tool as ‘il ferro di passatelli’ (passatelli iron). It’s a type of handheld press with small holes, very similar to a spaetzle maker or potato ricer.

If you’re in a pinch and cannot find a passatelli iron, a potato ricer will do!

How To Make Passatelli Step-By-Step

To make the dough, whisk together the dry ingredients: breadcrumbs, salt, nutmeg, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese. You can also add a dash of black pepper for extra flavor. Add the eggs and mix everything until it forms a dough.

Place about one-quarter of this mixture into a potato masher and press it right into the boiling stock. Cook the passatelli until they float, then scoop it out with a ladle. Serve right away.

How To Serve Passatelli

Serve the passatelli in your favorite broth or soup. Chicken or seafood broth are a few of the favorite ways to serve it.


Can You Make Passatelli Ahead Of Time?

The complete dish is best served right away, but the passatelli can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer.

Tips For The Best Homemade Passatelli

Use different ways to flavor the dough. Lemon zest, herbs, nutmeg are very popular.

For best results, use breadcrumbs from stale, very old bread. Make sure that the breadcrumbs and the parmesan are finely grated.

For the best flavor, use a parmesan cheese that has been aged for about 3 years.

Take care not to stir the passatelli in the broth while it cooks, as it might break.

How To Store Homemade Passatelli

Store the passatelli dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

Can You Freeze Passatelli?

Yes, you can! Make the dough, and press it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then transfer to a Ziploc bag. When ready to serve, drop the frozen passatelli into a hot broth and cook.


Whisk breadcrumbs with salt, nutmeg, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese.

Add 3 eggs and mix everything to combine.

Stir through until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.

Place ¼ of the mixture into a potato masher.

Start to press.

Press it right into the boiling stock.

Cook passatelli until they float, then serve right away.


If you notice that the dough breaks too easily when pressing it through the passatelli tool, wrap it in clingfilm and allow it to rest. Then dry, pressing it again.

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