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Strozzapreti homemade

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Homemade Strozzapreti: The Original Recipe

Italy is the homeland of many different pasta shapes, as evidenced by 'strozzapreti'. This fresh pasta, typically from Emilia Romagna, is perfect for housing meat, fish and vegetable sauces.

But how is homemade strozzapreti prepared? Here is the step-by-step recipe plus some little-known curiosities.

01 March, 2021
Average: 3.8 (8 votes)


Dietary Consideration

serves for



White flour
400g (strong flour)
Still water
a pinch

Strozzapreti (or 'priest-choker' / 'priest-strangler' in English), are an elongated form of cavatelli, or hand-rolled pasta typical of the Emilia-Romagna region.

Strips of dough are twisted and pinched into roughly 8cm lengths, boiled and served with ragùs like pulled rabbit and tarragon.

Watch the Pasta Grannies in action as they knead, roll and twist strozzapreti - and remember, there's no symmetry required here, the more homemade-looking the better.

Step 01

Put the flour in a heap on a pastry board.

Step 02

Make a hole in the middle of the flour and slowly add warm water as you begin to incorporate the flour with a fork.

Step 03

Start kneading with your hands, first with your fingertips and then, when the dough is more consistent, with your palms. You are aiming for a smooth and soft mixture.

Step 04

Make a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let the strozzapreti dough rest for 15 minutes in a cool place.

Step 05

After the dough has rested, roll it out into a thin sheet of about 1.5 millimetres thick. 

Step 06

Cut the pastry into 1.5 cm strips. At this point, roll up the strips with slightly moistened hands. Do not exert too much pressure, but proceed gently so as not to crush the dough.

Step 07

In this way you will get the classic rolled shape of strozzapreti. In the centre you will notice a sort of knot called the 'choke' in jargon. Repeat the operation until the dough is used up. This takes some practice to get right but that's part of the fun of making pasta. 

Step 08

Break each strozzapreti with your hands, trying to get a maximum length of 8 cm.

Step 09

Arrange the strozzapreti well spaced on a lightly floured tray and let them rest for 10/15 minutes before cooking.

Step 10

Cook the strozzapreti in plenty of boiling salted water.

Are you used to putting oil in fresh pasta water? This is a false myth. To prevent the fresh pasta from sticking while cooking, just pay attention to the cooking time and, above all, drain it with a slotted spoon without pouring it into a colander.

Recipe Variants

There are many variations of the Romagna strozzapreti recipe, but they all concern the dough. Add chopped spinach to obtain green strozzapreti, blended beetroot or tomato for the red strozzapreti, and a sachet of saffron to obtain a bright yellow strozzapreti.

In addition to those from Romagna, there are also traditional strozzapreti from other regions of Italy. This is the case of Tuscan strozzapreti (also called gnudi) which are nothing more than small balls made with the filling of ravioli; strangolaprevati from Salento which are potato gnocchi to be seasoned with ricotta; strangolapreti from Trentino, small dumplings made with spinach, eggs, flour and cheese topped with traditional Alto Adige speck, and finally, strozzapreti or Umbrian strangozzi, a fresh pasta with a rectangular section to be dressed with truffles.

History and curiosity

Like all traditional recipes, even the Romagna strozzapreti has a history that, handed down from verbally over the years, has taken on different nuances. Some argue that in the period of the Papal State in Romagna, the priests imposed very high taxes often paid with eggs and other products from the farms. Thus, the housewives (adzore in dialect) invented the recipe for this pasta whose dough did not include the use of eggs, just water and flour.



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