Sunday, August 14, 2011

Strangozzi alla Spoletina

Copyright 2011 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Strangozzi is a traditional long and irregularly hand-cut pasta from Spoleto. Strangozzi means "strangled priests" which is a bit macabre but the history of the pasta dates back during the time when the region was in rebellion againsts the papal dominion in the 14th century. The sauce for the dish is a bit on the peppery side traditionally made with southern Italian peppers. The heat, however, mellows out if you make the sauce the day before and you end up with just a hint of the heat in the pasta which is quite nice. 

The pasta recipe was a bit dry so I had to add more liquid to it to keep the dough together. I also had problems rolling it after drying the pasta for about 10 minutes so I had to cut them as sheets instead of rolls which meant that the pasta was a bit wider than it should be. I've seen on television how strangozzi is made traditionally so I might go hunt down an alternative recipe. As it is right now, I'll post the pasta dough recipe and include the changes I've made to it. If pasta making is not your thing, go with a thin fetuccini or even spaghetti noodles to save you some time.

*Strangozzi alla Spoletina - Adapted

Pasta Dough:
3 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
5 large eggs, beaten
5 tbsp olive oil

Tomato Sauce:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
35 oz peeled, whole tomatoes (canned) 
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley

1. To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a bowl. With the dough 
    hook at low speed, add the eggs until moist crumbs form. Add the oil 
    and continue to process until the oil is incorporated. 

2. Turn the dough into a lightly floured surface and form into a disc. 
    Wrap in clingfilm and let it rest for an hour. 

3. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large pot over low heat. Add 
    the garlic and pepper flakes until the garlic turns golden brown. And 
    the tomatoes and their juices (crushed by hand) and simmer over 
    moderately low heat for about 30 minutes. 

4. Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Keep warm. 

5. Once the dough is ready, cut into six portions and roll each portion using a 
    pasta machine from the thickest setting to the next to the thinnest 
    setting. If the pasta get a bit too long to handle, cut in half. 

6. Let the pasta sheets dry for about 2 minutes and roll into a log . Slice 
    crosswise into 1/4 inch strands and unfurl. Arrange them loosely on a lined 
    baking sheet. 

7. Boil a large pot of water and season with salt. Add the pasta and cook for 
    about 2 minutes and transfer the cooked noodles into the tomato sauce 
    that has been simmering over low heat. Toss and add the parsley. 

8. Serve immediately and pass the cheese (Pecorino or Grana Padano) at the 
    table if preferred.

*Food and Wine, October 2000, page 218

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