Baked Italian matzah cubes

An Italian Passover dish traditional in the Emilia Romagna region


The zuppa imperiale di Pesach, (little baked matzah cubes) is an Italian Passover dish traditional in the Emilia Romagna region. It is inspired by the Italian - non-Passover version - typically made with semolina, butter and parmesan, mixed with egg and nutmeg. The mixture is flattened on an oven tray, baked, cooled and diced into small cubes, which are cooked in a meat broth.

Italians often serve the dish for Christmas and throughout the winter months. The Jews of the region changed it to conform to kashrut - using matzah meal instead of semolina and extra virgin olive oil - and adopted it for Passover celebrations. I add these matzah cubes to a chicken and beef broth, but you can add it to a vegetable broth if preferred. They can be prepared well in advance and keep covered in the fridge until ready to cook.

Serves: 6
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes


● 4 large eggs
● 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
● ½ tsp salt
● ¼ tsp nutmeg
● 8 tbsp medium matzah meal


● Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

● Beat the eggs in a bowl together with the oil, salt and nutmeg. Slowly add the matzah meal and stir until you get a homogenous mixture.

● Line a 20 cm-square oven tray with greaseproof paper, brush with oil and pour in the mixture - it should be about 1 cm thick.

● Bake for 20 minutes until the top starts turning golden. Once it has cooled down cut it into cubes of about 1 cm each.

● Add the cubes to either a boiling or cold broth. If adding to boiling broth, cook them for 10-15 minutes. If adding to a cold broth, bring the broth with the cubes in to the boil then boil for 5 minutes and serve hot.

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