Strozzapreti with pork & saffron sauce
“Strozzapreti is a specialty from central Italy. Like cavatelli, it is a traditional pasta made without eggs, but it has a different shape. The dough is rolled through a pasta machine, a little at a time. As the sheet of pasta emerges from the machine, allow it to drop flat onto your work surface and cut it vertically into 1 cm strips. Each strip of pasta is then rolled between the palms of your hands to create a sort of corkscrew shape. Keep the pasta covered with a damp tea towel to stop it drying out, especially on hot days. The word ‘strozzapreti’ means ‘priest stranglers’. In the anti-clerical central part of Italy – once under the rule of the Papacy – the local priest was not a welcome guest! He was yet another mouth to feed on top of the already hungry family. A meal of flour and water was probably likely to ‘choke’ him. It is traditional to serve strozzapreti with Bolognese sauce, but I encourage people to try this delicious sauce made with pork mince or sausage, some diced zucchini and a touch of saffron.”
500 g strong white flour
about 1 cup hot milk
pork and saffron sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
300 g Salame (page 23) or pork sausage mince
2 small zucchini, diced
125 ml cream
8 threads saffron, softened in a little warm water
salt and pepper
freshly grated parmesan
To make the Pasta, combine the flour and hot milk in a bowl or on the bench and mix until the dough is a smooth and elastic ball. The dough may take a little kneading to come together.
Rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Set up your pasta machine. Cut off a small piece of dough, push it through setting 1, then setting 3, and finally, setting 7, until the pasta is about 2 mm thick.
Cut the pasta into strips of about 1 cm x 5 cm. Roll each strip between the palms of your hands so that each piece of pasta rolls in on itself like a little corkscrew.
To make the Sauce, heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based pan and fry the salame or pork mince, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
Add the zucchini and sauté until the meat and zucchini are cooked through.
Add the cream and saffron with its soaking liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little more hot water if necessary.
Cook the strozzapreti in plenty of boiling salted water.
When you are ready to serve, toss the strozzapreti in the pork and saffron sauce. If it seems a little dry, drizzle in a little extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with freshly grated cheese.