Passatelli Pesaro-style

Passatelli Pesaresi

Passatelli are only found in Emilia Romagna and the northern part of the Marche. A special tool is used for making passatelli, which consists of a perforated concave metal disc with two wooden handles. A potato ricer with large holes will do as a substitute. A mouli-légume with large holes can also be used for this operation. Passatelli can also be served as a soup, which is more common. Just cook the passatelli in the broth, ladle out and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 2.8 ml/5 pt meat stock
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dough

  • 400 g/14 oz very fine, fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 200 g/7 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 litres/ pt meat broth or salted water
  • 20 small purple artichokes, finely sliced (keep in acidulated water)
  • oil for deep-frying
  • slivers of Parmesan cheese
  • 30 halves of sun-dried tomato cut into julienne

Method

Make the sauce first

Bring the stock to the boil and add the vegetables and barley when the latter are partially cooked. When the vegetables are cooked, season to taste. Blend all the ingredients together to a thick sauce.

To make the dough

Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon zest. All the ingredients must be mixed thoroughly, preferably by hand for about 10 minutes. The resulting mixture will be quite a solid dough. Leave the dough for at least 2 hours in a fridge, longer if possible.

Reheat the sauce and keep it warm over a low heat.

Deep-fry the artichoke slices which have been thoroughly dried. Drain them on absorbent paper, and sprinkle with salt.

Bring the meat broth or salted water to the boil. Squeeze the dough through a potato ricer with large holes, making cylinders 2.5 cm/1 in long, straight into the boiling broth. You need strong hands for this operation. When the passatelli rise to the surface, remove them with a perforated spoon. Put them onto a puddle of the sauce, sprinkle with deep-fried artichokes, slivers of Parmesan and julienne of sun-dried tomato. Serve at once.

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