Pass the Passatelli, Please

Be sure to try this favorite regional dish

Chefs Elvezia Mazzacchera, left, and Nadia Silvestri are practically the perfect passatelli pair, serving spoonfuls of the Le Marche favorite every night at La Trattoria del Leone. (photo by Milana Katic)

At the restaurant La Trattoria del Leone, located on Via Cesare Battisti in Urbino, the traditional Le Marche dish passatelli in brodo reigns supreme.

Made from a mixture of grated bread, mixed pecorino cheeses, parmesan, eggs, and a bit of salt and nutmeg, passatelli noodles are first squeezed through a potato press and then cooked in a pot of boiling beef or veal broth until they float. Traditionally, the noodles are served in the broth, but there are other versions of the dish that can be made with a fried vegetable medley or even with truffles and shellfish. This regional favorite in all its variations is available in many restaurants in and around Urbino.

What really make the dish special are the physical properties of the noodles, which are long, thick, spongy strands—much more enjoyable than their description suggests. As del Leone’s passatelli chef Nadia Silvestri puts it, “It is special because it is simple, tasty, and it also fills you.”

Pasta simplicity at its finest, folks—you just can’t pass on the passatelli.

La Trattoria del Leone
Via Cesare Battisti, 5
61029 Urbino, Italy
0722 329 894
latrattoriadelleone.it

Open for dinner all week; open for lunch Saturday, Sunday, holidays, and by reservation.

This article is from Urbino Now magazine’s Go Native section, a collection of tips and info to help you feel like a local. Please view more magazine articles or order a complete printed copy of Urbino Now.

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About Milana Katic

My experience in Urbino can be adequately be summed up by one very key Italian phrase: “Mamma mia!” The hills, the history, the pasta and the overall experience were such enjoyable eye-openers. Studying abroad is truly a priceless opportunity, and I know my time in Urbino will send me back to the states with a new worldview that will forever be with me.