Monday, March 20, 2017

Strozzapreti e Salsa di Pomodoro

     Strozzapreti ... The Priest Choker Pasta!
     The Italian word Strozzapreti loosely translates to "Priest Choker or Priest Strangler."  There are a few stories as to how Strozzapreti Pasta got its name.  Each story has a similar meaning that ranges from wishing that a gluttonous priest would choke on the pasta that he eats to the resemblance of this pasta to a clerical collar that has the nickname "Priest Choker."  
     In this modern world of glorifying excessive violence in the mass media, it is all too easy to misconstrue the context and think that the origin of Strozzapreti Pasta comes from some kind of priest strangling incident long ago.  The meaning of Strozzapreti really has nothing to do with any violent incident and the meaning is more like a humble curse.  Everybody has heard the anger filled expression, "I hope that he chokes on it!"  This old expression is actually the same curse that applies to Strozzapreti Pasta.  
     The shape of Strozzapreti Pasta says it all.  This pasta resembles a curtain or a sash that is twisted like a rope, which could be used to choke or strangle a victim.  In reality, the only way this pasta could strangle somebody is if too much Strozzapreti was eaten too fast.  This is quite possible, if the Strozzapreti is served with a great tomato sauce!
     Strozzapreti is a twisted ribbon pasta that can hold plenty of sauce.  This is why Strozzapreti has such gluttonous appeal.  As far as vengeance filled deadly food designs go, Italian Strozzapreti Pasta is ingeniously clever! 
     As one can plainly see, not all Italian food is romantic or compassionate.  Emotional drama plays a major part in Italian cuisine and when angry emotions fill the air, preparing food items that are filled with angst is apropos.  When Strozzapreti is served, guests at the dining table surely will have an opportunity to act dramatically, just like they are playing a role in a comedic opera scene.    
     Strozzapreti definitely is an angry pasta, just like Pasta Arrabiata.  Adding a few pinches of crushed red chile pepper to the tomato sauce adds fuel to the fire.  Strozzapreti Pasta is poetry in motion and those who curse gluttony, will surely enjoy serving this angry Italian specialty! 

     Salsa di Pomodoro Recipe:
     This classic Italian Tomato Sauce takes a ew hours to make.  Follow this link to the Salsa di Pomodoro Recipe in this website.
     • Salsa di Pomodoro

     Italian Pasta Dough and Making Fresh Pasta Sheets:
     Follow the link to the recipe in this website.

     Strozzapreti Pasta Shape:
     About 20 pieces of Strozzapreti equals 1 hearty portion.
     Step 1:  Roll a thin sheet of pasta that is 6" wide and 15" long.
     Cut the sheet of pasta into 6" long ribbons that are about 5/8" wide.
     Step 2:  Place 1 pasta ribbon between two clasped hands.
     Gently rub the hands together back and forth, so the ribbon becomes twisted like a fabric chord.
     Repeat this step till all of the pasta ribbons are shaped like Strozzapreti.  
     Step 3:  Place each Strozzapreti on a sheet pan that is lined with parchment paper.
     Place the sheet pan in a refrigerator.
     Let the Strozzapreti Pasta chill and partially dry for about 1 hour.

     Strozzapreti e Salsa di Pomodoro:
     This recipe yields 1 hearty pasta entrée.
     Step 1:  Place a pot of lightly salted water over medium high heat.
     Bring the water to a gentle boil.
     Step 2:  Place a wide sauté pan over medium low heat.
     1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups of Salsa di Pomodoro.  (This pasta can be served saucy!)
     Add 1 or 2 pinches of crushed dried red pepper.  (optional)
     Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Step 3:  Place 1 portion of Strozzapreti in the boiling water.  (About 20 pieces.)
     Use a wooden pasta stick to gently stir the pasta for a few seconds, so the pasta does not stick together.
     Boil the Strozzapreti Pasta till they are fully cooked and the pasta floats on the surface of the water.
     Continue boiling for about 30 seconds more, so the thick pasta shapes gain a soft palatable texture.
     Step 4:  Use a long handle pasta net to gather the pasta.
     Use the net to drain off any excess water.
     Step 5:  Add the Strozzapreti Pasta to the gently simmering Salsa di Pomodoro in the sauté pan.
     Toss the sauce and pasta together.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Step 6:  Use a large serving spoon to mound the Strozzapreti e Salsa di Pomodoro on the center of a plate.
     Drizzle 1 or 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil over the pasta and onto the plate.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper over the pasta.  (optional)
     Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of fine grated Parmigiana Cheese over the pasta.
     Sprinkle 2 pinches of minced Curly Leaf Parsley over the pasta.
     Garnish with a Curly Leaf Pasta sprig.

     Viola!  A tasty Strozzapreti Pasta that surely will inspire dramatic conversation!  

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