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Chicken Soup with Passatelli
“This chicken soup is a traditional first course in the Italian regions of Romagna and the Marche. Passatelli is pasta made with breadcrumbs. The best breadcrumbs to use in this recipe come from plain Italian white bread that is a day or two old.”
8 cups Homemade Chicken Broth (see associated recipe) or reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 large carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups fresh breadcrumbs (see Tip)
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1In a large pot, bring broth to a boil. Add carrots, celery, garlic and salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
2Meanwhile, combine breadcrumbs, cheese and nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add eggs; mix until thoroughly combined. The dough should be damp but firm. If necessary, incorporate additional breadcrumbs or a few drops of water; if the dough is too wet or too dry it will crumble.
3To form the passatelli, pinch off a piece of dough and roll it out between your palms or on the work surface into a rope about ¼ inch thick, then break it into ½-inch lengths. Continue forming the rest of the dough in the same manner.
4Bring the broth back to a boil, add the passatelli and parsley and cook for 5 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with a little Parmesan and serve.
Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about ⅓ cup crumbs.