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Thursday, March 06, 2014
Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

Hey everybody,

Jrfoodcritic here back with another blog. This past weekend my family and I tried our hand again at homemade pasta, we made Strozzapreti. Strozzapreti means choking priests in Italian. Legend has it that strozzapreti is so good that when it was invented and first served to priests, they devoured it so quickly that they choked. It sounds bad that priests choked, but at least they were choking on something good. I can also see why they choked. The strozzapretti is amazing. It has a chewy texture but magnificent taste. To make it you make a pasta dough but you add tomatoes in the dough before you roll it out. The dough is flattened but then cut by hand and rolled into small tubes. It is cooked normally. We tossed the pasta in olive oil, garlic, rosemary and parmesan cheese and it was wonderful. No red sauce needed since the tomatoes are in the dough. I like traditional so I was the only person in my family that put a red sauce on the strozzapreti. I have to say, they missed out. The red sauce mixed very well with the strozzapreti and added lots of flavor. All in all, it was an amazing dish.

Another thing that went on this week was Mardi Gras. For those of you that don't know what Mardi Gras is, it is a pre-Lenten celebration that we hold where people get on big floats and throw out beads and toys. The first Mardi Gras was believed to be held on March 3, 1633. It was invented by the French (mostly Catholics). The last parade that we went to was fun, but what was better was the food. We had all kinds of different southern foods, but one of my favorites was the pastalaya. Pastalaya is a jambalaya themed dish but with pasta in it instead of rice. I have to say, the pastalaya that I had at Mardi Gras was the best one I have had yet! Below is the recipe for the Stozzapreti compliments of David Rocco.

Till next time,
jrfoodcritic



Strozzapreti

Ingredients
* Strozzapreti
* 1 pound/500 g all-purpose flour
* 3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped with juices
* 1 egg
* Salt
* Sauce
* 1/4 cup/50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
* 1/2 cup/125 ml finely grated Parmigiano cheese
* 1/4 cup reserved pasta water

Instructions
Compliments of David Rocco

Total Time: 35 min
Prep: 30 min
Cook: 5 min
Level: Easy
Yield: 4 servings

Put the flour on a worktable. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the tomatoes, egg, and salt. Combine together and knead until the mixture becomes an even dough. If the mixture becomes too wet, add more flour, if it becomes too dry, add more tomato juice.

Sprinkle the work surface with a little flour. Cut a quarter of the dough and roll the dough flat. Cut the dough into strips 1/2-inch wide and then each strip about 2 to 3-inches long. Using your thumb and index finger, gently pinch the width of the dough strip, and then roll out. Repeat the above process until all the dough is used up. Cover up any excess dough with a cloth to prevent it from drying, if you are not using it immediately.

Put the dough-strips on a lightly floured board and then add to a pot of boiling salted water. Stir to prevent the pasta from sticking together and drain when the pasta floats to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.

To make the sauce: Add the olive oil, chopped rosemary, and Parmigiano cheese to a cold saucepan. Add the cooked strozzapreti to the saucepan with a 1/4 cup pasta water and mix well.
Posted by jrfoodcritic at 12:33 PM
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