Passatelli is a typical dish in Emilia, especially prepared with soup. Passatelli is excellent fresh and rough pasta, used to prepare the traditional Easter soups or for family celebrations like weddings and baptisms. It was prepared with a special iron for passatelli that now is difficult to find. Even today passatelli is mainly prepared with meat soup, but the version with fish soup is delicious too. A recent recipe says to season passatelli with sausage and arugula. It’s no easy to find passatelli for sale in the rest of Italy, and you have to come here in Emilia Romagna to taste the best ones!
The cassoni are simple Italian focaccias, made with flour, water and salt. The dough is stuffed and folded on itself, taking care to close the edges with a fork. The cassoni are very versatile and easy to eat both hot and cold, and can be filled in many different ways. The traditional filling includes wild herbs as wild spinach, watercress, wild poppy or other plants grown as spinach and chicory. For a more delicious version you can add squacquerone, typical cheese of Romagna. Of course, like all kinds of focaccia, you can enjoy them with tomato and mozzarella, mushrooms and zucchini, ham and cheese, and any other ingredient you’ll want to try!
The crescione is made with puff pastry and is stuffed. Its name comes from the most common wild grass in the area, watercress, which was used in many recipes, including the filling of the focaccia. Today, in addition to the watercress, they use arugula, zucchini and squacquerone, to make the filling even richer and tastier. The ingredients are placed in the dough that is folded and closed well by pinching it with fingers. The surface is pricked with a fork to prevent the bloating of the dough and Watercress is cooked on a frying pan. It is great both hot and cold.
Strozzapreti is a fresh pasta which can be seasoned in many ways, it is excellent with meat sauce or with wild boar sauce. The origin of this singular name is uncertain, and there are many legends about it, the name is probably due to the fact that priests loved good food and maybe ate greedily, and the shape of the rustic and handmade Strozzapreti could create some problems! Apparently Strozzapreti was a very delicious dish and was eaten by wealthy classes of the region, only recently, as many other recipes, has become part of the popular cuisine. The only certain thing about this pasta is that it is still much loved by those who appreciate the rustic traditional cuisine.