Being born in the Emilia-Romagna region, homemade pasta means egg pasta and when the Rieti-Viterbo Chamber of Commerce and theSpecial Agency of Central Italy involved me for Facebook Live to cook typical local dishes, I expected to prepare the ‘usual pasta’ and instead Sagne are something entirely different.

In fact, this homemade dough is prepared like a bread or pizza dough, but without using yeast. All you need is flour and water and a few tricks to prepare these delicious, plump pappardelle pasta that ‘doesn’t overcook’ because the first pasta thrown into the water ‘waits for the last one to be ready’, as the local experts connected from the Le tre porte restaurant in Rieti tell us.

The name ‘a la molenara’ indicates the way they were eaten by the ‘miller’, i.e. the person who prepared the flour and then cooked this type of pasta. Even today, the municipality of Cittaducale in August hosts a festival dedicated to this delicious dish.

The sauce is as in true Italian tradition, i.e. very simple, but prepared with extraordinary ingredients: a fragrant, flaming red tomato, the Pomodoro Ovalone Reatino P.A.T. (i.e. traditional Italian agri-food product) of the Tenuta San Giovanni Farm of Gianfranco Gianni and Petrucci Sabino PDO extra virgin olive oil.

Garlic and chilli peppers are the lively touch to a dish that is quick to prepare and suitable for all seasons: try it!

Homemade pasta Sagne a la molenara

carbohydrates 33.4g per 100g

Ingredients for the dough for 4-5 servings

  • 400g flour mix for bread, brand Nutrifree**
  • water
  • a pinch of salt
  • rice flour* for dusting

Ingredients for sauce

  • 500g Ovalone tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • marjoram
  • Sabina PDO extra virgin olive oil
  • chilli pepper
  • grated Pecorino cheese for serving (not present in the original recipe)

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)


  1. Put the flour in a planetary mixer, add a pinch of salt and start mixing with the flat beater, adding lukewarm water until the dough is soft and similar to a pizza or bread dough.
  2. Place the mixture on a pastry board floured with rice flour, form it into a loaf and leave it to rest covered with a tea towel. From time to time, knead the dough again.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Brown a clove of garlic in extra virgin olive oil, then pour in the Ovalone tomato sauce. Let the sauce cook for about 20 minutes, adding a drop of water if necessary and season with marjoram, salt and chilli pepper to taste.
  4. Roll out the loaf to form a rectangle about 3-4mm thick. Cut 1-2cm wide strips by stretching them with your hands while laying them on the pastry board.

impasto delle sagne

  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove, bring it to the boil, salt it, and then throw in the Sagne: this dough does not overcook, so you don’t have to worry too much about the cooking time! Drain them anyway when you like the texture and throw them into a large non-stick frying pan with the tomato sauce to flavour them well.
  2. Serve them possibly with grated Pecorino cheese, which, however, was not in the original recipe.

sagne a la molenara

Version with gluten of homemade pasta Sagne alla molinara

Replace the Molino Dallagiovanna fresh pasta flour mix with an equal amount of wheat flour, adjusting the amount of water needed for kneading.

If one were to ask me what my favourite dishes are, I would answer first courses in all their infinite forms and interpretations, so here is my proposal for the national festival of first courses: Passatelli with pappa al pomodoro and crispy prosciutto.

The national festival of first courses

In the heart of Italy, from 27 to 30 September, the entire historic centre of Foligno will be colonised by fans of this symbol of Italian cuisine, the national festival of first course: I Primi d’Italia


The verb ‘colonise’ is certainly the most appropriate to define what is happening in the Umbrian village, which is divided into no less than 14 villages of first courses, including, which fills me with joy, also one dedicated to gluten free.

Armed with a healthy appetite and, above all, an insatiable curiosity, it is worth getting lost in the streets and discovering not only the more than 100 recipes for first courses served non-stop, but also the cooking classes, tastings, cooking shows, markets, conferences as well as entertainment and music.

A first course featuring the Emilia Romagna region

To celebrate 20 years of this exquisite event, I welcomed with pleasure and honour the opportunity to represent my own region, Emilia Romagna, through a traditional dish, but with a touch of innovation and freshness through some ingredients that at home, in Parma, are really the masters, namely Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and tomato. This is what I have decided to propose to you: Passatelli with pappa al pomodoro and crispy prosciutto.

Why Passatelli? Because I have never found anyone who didn’t like them, because they require only very few ingredients, because they are perfect for reusing leftover bread and hardened Parmesan cheese, because they are suitable for all seasons, and because they are so easy and quick to prepare.

Most likely born in the countryside of Romagna, where people lived in poverty but always managed to prepare a dish like this, they soon became a symbol of the entire regional cuisine.

The tool for preparing Passatelli

The traditional tool with which they were prepared is the ancestor of the pasta die, a kind of perforated disc, slightly concave, with two handles that allow you to place it on the dough by making a forward movement while exerting a certain pressure that will cause these small cylinders of varying lengths to come out. The ingenuity of the peasants meant that the quantity of Passatelli formed in the hollow with a swipe of the iron disc on the dough corresponds to the serving for one diner, making life easy for the women of the house when calculating the quantity to prepare.

Today, the ‘Passatelli iron disc’ has become almost a collector’s item and has been replaced by the less artistic but effective potato masher with large holes, aided by the blade of a knife. When the residual dough is too little to be shaped by the disc, the leftover is generally forged between the hands to obtain an extra-large Passatello, the object of battles for children who always want to get it.

Historically, Passatelli are served in a good meat stock, perhaps capon stock, but for the hot season and, why not admit it, to avoid the time-consuming preparation of stock, I wanted to experiment with a different, tomato-based soup, which is also excellent warm or cold and not just hot (if you want a hot soup, try my Onion soup au gratin).

The proportions between ingredients is somewhat the same in all families, i.e. 1 egg for every 100g of Parmesan cheese and dry bread, with the growing wealth making housewives lean towards increasing the amount of Parmesan a little at the expense of bread. In some parts of the region, a portion of flour is also added, an operation from which I couldn’t exempt myself when preparing my gluten free Passatelli and wanting to sauté them in a pan.

Passatelli with pappa al pomodoro and crispy prosciutto

36.9 g carbohydrates per 100g of plain Passatelli


Ingredients for Passatelli for 4 servings

  • 110g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 100g breadcrumbs or grated stale bread**
  • 60g flour mix for fresh pasta, brand Molino Dallagiovanna**
  • 2 eggs
  • meat or vegetable stock to blanch the bread
  • nutmeg, salt

Ingredients for Pappa al pomodoro

  • 500g tomato sauce
  • 200g low fat milk
  • 50g carrots
  • 50g onions
  • 20g celery
  • 20 g butter
  • 20g wholemeal rice flour*
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chopped coriander seeds, chilli pepper, salt and pepper

Ingredients to complete

  • 50g Parma ham
  • some basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation of Pappa al pomodoro

Start preparing Pappa al pomodoro in this version without bread. Chop the onion, carrot and celery and brown them in a low, wide pan with a little extra virgin olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic. When they are well caramelised, add the tomato sauce and a pinch of salt; cover and cook for 20 minutes.

La pentola Agnelli dedicata ai Primi d'Italia

The Agnelli pot dedicated to Primi d’Italia

  1. In the meantime, prepare a béchamel sauce by melting 20g of butter in a pan, add the rice flour, stirring with a whisk to obtain a cream, then dilute with milk and put on the heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a béchamel sauce; add salt to taste.
  2. When the tomato sauce is ready, remove the garlic cloves and incorporate the béchamel sauce, stirring well. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth and even. Add chopped coriander seeds, chilli, salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation of Passatelli

  1. Heat the stock. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and scald them with the boiling stock, taking care not to pour too much: the bread should be slightly moist and sticky. Once cold, add the other ingredients, namely flour, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and eggs. Mix well until you obtain a firm compound. Let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  2. Prepare the crispy ham. Lay the ham slices on a plate and place the plate in the microwave oven on low power for about twenty seconds: if the ham has not become crispy, repeat the operation until the desired texture is reached.
  3. Put a pot of water on the stove and bring it to the boil, then add salt.
  4. For Passatelli we have two options: we can form them and lay them on a tray to keep for later, or we can throw them directly into boiling water or stock. Put about half the Passatelli mixture into the potato masher, press the potato masher directly over the boiling water and when the Passatelli are the desired length, about 4-5 cm, cut them with a knife dropping them directly into the water. Stir them with a skimmer and let them boil for a few minutes.
  5. Put 2 tablespoons of Pappa al pomodoro in the sauce pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and half a ladle of cooking water; with a skimmer, remove the Passatelli from the water and throw them into the pan with the sauce, sautéing them over high heat for a few minutes.
  6. Serve a ladleful of Pappa al pomodoro in each serving dish, place the sautéed Passatelli on top, the crispy chopped prosciutto, two basil leaves, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.


Version with gluten of Passatelli with pappa al pomodoro and crispy prosciutto.

Do not use flour or very little for preparing Passatelli.

Sweet and savoury together, but also mint and chocolate coming together, our recipe today is a mix of flavours and contrasts: After-eight egg pasta triangles.
A pleasant pasta enclosing a soft filling with an intense flavour. In short, an appetising first course to surprise with something new and unexpected.

If you love fresh pasta, also try Sardinian Culurgiones a work of art of workmanship and taste!


After-eight egg pasta triangles

29.48g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for the egg pasta for 8 persons

  • 500g fresh pasta flour mix, brand Molino Dallagiovanna**
  • 5 eggs
  • 15g bitter cocoa powder*
  • 40g water
  • 20g extra virgin olive oil
  • 3g salt

Ingredients for stuffing

  • 400g boiled and mashed potatoes 300g freshly grated sweet Pecorino cheese
  • 30g grated medium-aged Pecorino cheese
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • 10g chopped mint
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • milk and salt as needed

** Ingredients specific for celiacs


  1. Prepare the dough by mixing flour, eggs, cocoa, water, oil and salt by hand or in a planetary mixer. In no time, you will obtain a smooth and elastic dough. Wrap it in cling film and let it rest.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
    Put the grated cheese and the mashed potatoes in a bowl and mix well until an even mixture is obtained. Heat the olive oil in a small pan and as soon as it is hot, add the chopped garlic and stir; turn off the heat and add the chopped mint. Let it rest for a minute, then pour the aromatic oil over the potato and Pecorino mixture. Mix well, add salt to taste and, if the mixture is too thick, soften it with a few tablespoons of warm milk.
  3. Now, take the dough and roll it out with a pastry cutter to the penultimate or third last hole; with a toothed cutter, cut 8cm squares.
    Using a teaspoon, or your hands, place the filling in the centre of the square, then close forming a triangle and pinching the edges together to seal the ravioli tightly.
    Bring the water to the boil, salt it lightly and gently toss in the triangles. After a few minutes, drain them and dress them with melted butter together with a few mint leaves and grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese.


Version with gluten of After-eight egg pasta triangles

Replace gluten-free flour with wheat flour and reduce the amount of water used to 15g.

On Women’s Day, we thought of offering you an alternative idea to the usual mimosas, a gift for the eyes and the palate: Ravioli with prawns and cherry tomatoes.

Yes, today we want to share a recipe to prepare for the woman you love, but also for a dinner with women friends. In short, for an evening dedicated to the world of women.


Very well, then get ready to cook some delicious ravioli with that extra touch: a romantic heart shape.

Ravioli with prawns and cherry tomatoes 

18.48g carbohydrates per 100g

Ingredients for egg pasta

  • 300g gluten free flour mix, brand Petra 3**
  • 5 eggs
  • 10g bitter cocoa*
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • water

Ingredients for the filling

  • 400g boiled and peeled prawns
  • 300g boiled and peeled potatoes
  • 100g Robiola cheese
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for the dressing

  • 500g cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 basil leaves
  • salted ricotta cheese, salt, extra virgin olive oil

**Ingredients specific for celiacs

*Ingredients whose labels must read “gluten-free” (or, in Italy, present on  Prontuario AIC)

Preparation of Ravioli with prawns and cherry tomatoes

  1. On a cutting board, make a well with the flour and crack the eggs in the centre, add oil and salt.
    Start by beating the eggs with a fork and gradually incorporate the flour so that the liquids do not spill out, adding a few tablespoons of water if necessary.
    Continue stirring until the mixture is fairly compact.
  2. Now knead the dough with your hands until it becomes smooth and firm. Cover it with cling film and leave it to rest while you prepare the filling.
  3. Mash the potatoes and mix them with the chopped shrimps, robiola cheese, salt and pepper.
  4. Now assemble the ravioli.
  5. Roll out the dough, cut it with a heart-shaped cutter and place the filling in the centre. Finally, close the ravioli by placing another layer of pasta on top. To seal the two parts, you can help yourself with the tines of a fork.
  6. Put a pot of water on the stove and bring it to the boil. In the meantime, sauté the halved cherry tomatoes and basil leaves in a non-stick pan with a little oil, seasoning with salt.
  7. Cook the ravioli in salted water and, once cooked, drain them, dry them on a towel and serve on a plate with the sautéed cherry tomatoes, a generous grating of salted ricotta and a drizzle of mild extra virgin olive oil.


Version with gluten of Ravioli with prawns and cherry tomatoes

Replace the 300g gluten-free flour with wheat flour and knead it with 3 whole eggs and a few tablespoons of water, if necessary.