Frascarelli, The World’s Easiest Pasta

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 06:38
Difficult Level
Cooking Time
1 hour

You don’t need any special equipment to make this wonderful polenta-like pasta just your own fingers. Simply spread flour onto a work surface, sprinkle with a few drops of water, and like magic, a bit of flour and water turns into pasta nuggets. Want to have some real fun in the kitchen? Make this pasta! 

This typical cucina povera, “poor food” dish from the countryside of Lazio, Umbria and Marche gets its name because in the past Italians used twigs, frasca, to sprinkle water onto the flour. This is an ancient dish, whose precise origin is lost in time, but that certainly dates to ancient Roman times as a version seasoned with sapawas noted by ancient Roman author Apicius.

It probably originated as a something to prepare quickly during harvest season, when everyone in a household, from the smallest child to grandmothers were needed in the fields and there was no one left at home to prepare dinner.  Frascarelli were often served to lactating new mothers as it’s believed it helps increase milk flow.

Frascarelli are traditionally made in three ways: 1-just with flour, salt and water (frascarelli de farina or dei poveretti); 2- as in this recipe with egg added to the flour (frascarelli de li signori) or 3-with a little rice added to the cooking water along with the fracarelli (riso coricatoor fracarelli de riso). 

Frascarelli are wonderful topped with plain tomato sauce or as below, with savory sausage and pecorino cheese.  

In the past the cooked frascarelli was eaten right off the wooden board, called “spianatora,” used to make the pasta. Today it’s still traditionally served on a wooden platter.

Serves 4 to 6 




00 flour
4 cups (500 grams)
2 large
½ teaspoon, plus more to taste
sweet sausages
2 tablespoons
olive oil
2 tablespoons
grated pecorino cheese
to taste


Spread the flour in a thin layer onto a workstation. Beat the eggs with a few tablespoons of water. Drip the eggs onto the flour, a little at a time, and rub with your finger-tips to form little clumps, the frascarelli

Bring 4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil and slowly add the frascarelli. Simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, remove the meat from the sausage casings and sauté in olive oil until cooked. Serve the frascarellitopped with the sausage and a generous sprinkling of cheese.

Recipe from: Pasta Modern: New & Inspired Recipes of Italy

By Francine Segan (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2014)