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Recipe: Passatelli in Woodpigeon Broth

Recipe: Passatelli in Woodpigeon Broth

One for the big bag days this is an excellent recipe for when you have so many dead birds, you just don’t know what to do with them. (Not that I would know mind). Both the broth and the pasta dough can be batch made, and then frozen down to smaller portions.

Passatelli is a pasta famous in Emilia Romagna made with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs instead of flour and normally served in a broth. This is true peasant food at it is most comforting and delicious. Perfect on cooler summer nights when you don’t fancy a large dinner but still you’re hungry for something. My father wistfully remembers his mother making pigeon broth as an all in one cure for just about any childhood ailment. Who needs Calpol when you have 50 dead birds in the cellar?


120gr of breadcrumbs
200g of Parmigiano Reggiano
3 Eggs
The zest of half a lemon
1 nutmeg


Finely grate your parmesan and mix with the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Using a fine microplate, grate your nutmeg and also lightly grate the zest of your half lemon, making sure you avoid any of the bitter white underskin.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your eggs with a generous pinch of salt.

Add your eggs to the mix and knead well. If it is too dry and crumbly, you can add a drop of the broth, or if it too wet, simply correct with more breadcrumbs. Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour. To shape the pasta, you can either run it through a coarse plate on your meat grinder or manually push it through a potato masher. Cut the strips into 4cms long pieces and dust with bench flour before refrigerating.

Ingredients for Pigeon Broth:

4 whole pigeons, plucked, cleaned and quartered
2 large celery stalks
1 leeks
2 carrots
2 large white onions, quartered,
Black peppercorns
4 bay leaves

Method for Pigeon Broth:

In a large plan filled with cold water, slowly bring to boil all the ingredients. Keep the heat low, so it gently simmers for a couple of hours, straining off any fat or muck that rises to the surface. Once ready, strain the liquid, bring to boil & cook the pasatelli in the broth. They won’t take long at all to cook, so keep checking them.

Once done, simply serve and enjoy.