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Mention the word passatelli to most Italians and watch them swoon over this Christmas delicacy. Obscure to most Americans, passatelli is a rustic pasta commonly prepared in Italy during Christmas. Its name is derived from the word passare (to pass) because it is passed through a potato masher to achieve its cylindrical shape.
Unlike most pasta recipes, which typically require flour, passatelli uses breadcrumbs as a base. It's made with just four other ingredients: eggs, parmesan cheese, nutmeg and lemon zest. Prepared in the right way these five humble ingredients yield a flavorful pasta that is simply dreamy.
Passatelli originated in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region (also home to parmesan cheese) where it is commonly served with a meaty broth. This way it warms the belly and the soul on a cold winter's day.
If you'd like to try your hand at this unique Italian Christmas dish, here's a great recipe for you:
For more amazing holiday dishes, we invite you to browse our Recipes section.