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Strozzapreti pasta of Romagna: history and recipe

Strozzapreti pasta of Romagna

Strozzapreti is a typical pasta of Romagna: water and flour, without eggs.

The name literally means strangler the priest.
Also known as lunghet, that is, lunghetti, because of the elongated format, they are a gastronomic specialty with a history that deserves to be known.

Strozzapreti pasta of Romagna recipe

The history of Romagnoli chokes priests

If lunghet simply refers to the long, thin pasta format, the etymology of the word strozzapreti recalls the strong republican, anarchist, and socialist tradition of Romagna.

Until the birth of the Kingdom of Italy, which effectively ratified the unification of the peninsula (1861), Bologna and the entire Romagna area were part of the Church State.

At the time, priests collected taxes. Often, they showed up at lunchtime. All the farmers had to host the priest for lunch and pay. And if he had no money, clerical authority requisitioned animals or his few things.

The azdora served the unwelcome guest a dish of pasta whose format was reminiscent of the ropes to hang condemned men in the nineteenth century. With the strozzapreti pasta, the women served the wish that the priest might choke himself while eating.

However, we know strozzapreti pasta existed as early as the 18th century. But a connection to priests must be there since another Romagna pasta format is called ingannapreti (deceive the priest)

The strozzapreti dough brings to mind winter when the chickens stop making eggs or make few. Strozzapreti is a kind of pasta, just water, and flour, we find with other names and shapes in many regions of Italy. Think bigoli from Veneto and Lombardy or pici from Tuscany. In the south, semolina takes the place of wheat flour.

That it was a pasta typical only of the working classes is sure because there is no trace of the recipe in the ancient collections of the great codifiers, even from Romagna.
And to think that the poor peasant considered strozzapreti pasta a Sunday dish.

Strozzapreti pasta of Romagna: history and recipe

The recipe

The housewife would roll out a sheet of pasta that was a little firmer than egg pasta, then cut thin strips that she would quickly turn between the palms of her hands.

Traditionally, strozzapreti were dressed in white, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.
Or, those who could afford it, oil and sugar. The carnival version also included cinnamon.

Today, you can season them in many different ways: traditional meat, vegetables, or fish sauce. For me, they work well with all of them.

Regarding flour, I remain faithful to wheat flour. Some people make them with semolina, and some use one part 00 flour and one part semolina. I think semolina shifts the accent from Romagna to Puglia, so I prefer to add one or two tablespoons of semolina to the overall amount. Just to scoop up the sauce better.

In addition to 0 and 00 flours, I sometimes use wheat flour (the strozzapreti in the photos are just the ones made with the latter flour).

My favorite summer sauce for strozzapreti is the one I make with zucchini and squash blossoms, while the winter one is sausage ragout.

Buona cucina, Monica

Cook with me.

HERE you will find a recipe for sausage ragout. It isn’t a quick recipe but a ragù that needs time.

The pasta dough made of eggs and flour tells a different story but one that always speaks of Emilia-Romagna (HERE).

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Strozzapreti pasta of Romagna: history and recipe

Strozzapreti pasta recipe

serves 4
Lists of the Ingredients

00 flour, 380 g
semolina, 20 g
200-250 g lukewarm water


You can make the dough with the kneader and roll out the dough with the machine.

Otherwise, proceed on the cutting board by putting the flour mixed with semolina in a well.

Make a hole in the center where you pour in the lukewarm water a little at a time.

Knead until you get a soft, smooth dough.

Let it rest for 10 minutes, covered but out of the refrigerator.

Roll out a sheet about 2 mm thick.
Cut strips about 1.5 cm wide. Long or short, you decide.

Roll the dough between the two palms, then make, by cutting or tearing, pieces 8-10 cm long. But if you prefer, you can make them short, 4-5 cm long.

Arrange the pasta on floured trays, cook in plenty of salted water, and season in the pan with the sauce of your choice.

Strozzapreti pasta of Romagna

Pastas of Emilia-Romagna

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