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Making Strozzapreti: the 'Priest Strangler' Pasta

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by Erin (subscribe)
I travel as much as possible at home and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences
Published April 15th 2020
A thick chewy pasta found in northern Italy
Strozzapreti is not the most common of pastas found on your average Italian restaurant menu, but they are tasty and easy to make. In fact, they are described as 'thick and irregular.' Without a need for uniformity or perfection, this is a great pasta for beginners to learn how to shape pasta by hand.

This pasta is most prevalent in northern Italy. The name translates to 'priest strangler' in English - both amusing and disconcerting. The exact origin of the name is not known, but the most popular theory is a joke referring to the gluttony of medieval priests, who ate the thick pasta so fast that they choked on it. The blog Pasta Artist has proposed a linguistic origin from the 'Greek verbs straggalào (to roll up) and prepto (to hollow), that describe the method of shaping this pasta.'

I am new to pasta-making myself and do not have the appropriate tools one might find in an Italian kitchen, such as spianatoia, mattarello, etc.; however, the following is a simple recipe that is achievable in a short amount of time. I watched the Pasta Grannies on YouTube to learn the pasta shaping technique: See Make Strozzapreti or Make Strozzapreti with seafood. They also provide variable sauces and additions to the one given below.


Pasta Dough

1 cup flour
2 eggs


Multi-coloured cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
Half an onion
Fresh basil
Olive oil


1. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce in a pan. Cook on low heat whilst you prepare the pasta dough.

2. Put the flour on a clean smooth surface. Form a well in the centre and add the two eggs. With your hand gently draw the flour from the sides to mix with the eggs until you form a dough. Knead the dough until it is all incorporated and smooth. *Some people say to allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to relax the gluten. However, I did not let the dough sit, but went directly on to the next step.

3. Flatten the dough ball and begin to roll out in a uniform manner until you can see your hand through the dough. This is most easily done with a large pasta rolling pin. I used a small one and it was adequate.

4. Roll up one side of the dough to the centre. Then roll up the opposing side to the centre.

5. Using a knife, cut the dough into strips about an inch wide. Unroll them and you will have long strips.

6. Roll the strips between your hands until you have a cylindrical piece of pasta about 3 inches long. If this is confusing, see the Pasta Grannies videos above for the technique. It really is straightforward.

7. Add the pasta to a pot of boiling water. There is not really an exact timing for the pasta. It will float to the top. It should be thoroughly cooked and a bit chewy. Fresh egg pasta usually cooks within a few minutes.

8. Purée the cooked vegetables into a smooth sauce or it can just be served as is

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Why? Try your hand at pasta making with a simple and delicious recipe
Cost: Inexpensive
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