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How to make Strozzapreti - ‘Choking priest’ pasta


Recipe

  • Serves 4

Ingredients

 

  • Plain flour – 300g/10.6oz
  • Eggs – 4
  • Lemon olive oil – 1.5 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper (optional)
  • Butter – 40g/1.4oz
Plain flour – 300g/10.6oz Eggs – 4 Lemon olive oil – 1.5 tablespoons Salt and pepper (optional) Butter – 40g/1.4oz

Method

Every little corner of Italy has a pasta that it calls its own, and if you’re lucky it comes along with a bit of history or a nice story. The best I’ve heard so far is Le Marche’s very own strozzapreti. Not only does it have a clever little twist in it that means sauces (like the ubiquitous wild boar ragù) stick to it in gooey lumps, but best of all, its name means ‘priest choker’.

This, Sandro our estate agent explained, goes back to the time when the church was a big landowner in Le Marche. The farmers’ wives would make this pasta to grease the palms, or rather fill the bellies, of the local clergymen. But the farmers would go wild with jealousy (eating your wife’s pasta is tantamount to bedding her, Sandro told us) and so wish for the pasta to choke the gluttonous priests to death. Anyway, we’ve had fun making our own strozzapreti at home. It’s just a shame we have no priest friends to invite round for dinner.

 

  1. Make the pasta according to the instructions for lemon ravioli. Lay the thin dough on a floury board and cut into long strips about 3cm wide.Take two wooden barbecue skewers and roll a length of dough around first one skewer then the next. You should end up with an ‘S’ shape, with a skewer in each hole of the ‘S’. Take the skewers out and cut the dough into 2.5 inch pieces. Give each one a further little twist to make sure that the priest really gets it, and place on a well-floured tray.
  2. Once you’ve made enough for 4 people, throw the pasta shapes into salted, boiling water. When they are cooked they will rise to the surface. Scoop them out and mix them into whatever sauce you have come up with. Our favourite so far has been an asparagus, fresh pea, mint and cream sauce.