Strozzapreti alla “Lovely Angel”
“Priest-chokers” alla “Lovely Angel”

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes

Total Cost: UK/£ 6,22*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 2,07*

This is a recipe I came up with the night before the Italian cooking class. So it’s not a traditional dish and it didn’t have a name. But since the lovely ten years old Angel was so brave to taste it and said that , on a scale from 1 to 10, she liked it “…a lot” (wise girl!), we all agreed to name the recipe “Strozzapreti a la Lovely Angel”.

If you don’t have access to Taleggio cheese, you can substitute it with a mild Gorgonzola, which will match the walnuts’ flavour just as well. If you have blanched the Strozzapreti in advance, then add the courgettes just a minute after you dropped the pasta into the water. If frozen, the Strozzapreti must be dropped immediately into very abundant boiling water, otherwise they will drop its temperature and stick to each other while resting on the bottom.

Click here to read the recipe for Strozzapreti.

Utensils you will need

Utensils for the sauce

One pestle and mortar

One chopping board

One paring knife

One sharp chef knife

Two small plates

One towel

Hot running water

One large frying pan

Utensils for the pasta

One 6-8lt saucepan

Cooking string

One small bowl or jug

One ladle

One strainer or a pasta server

Two wooden spoons or silicon spatulas (if necessary)

One large bowl

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

Recipe Rating

  • (7 Rating)

Ingredients

  • For the sauce

  • Courgettes 200gr

  • Extravirgin olive oil - 50gr

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 2

  • Wallnut kernels - 50gr

  • Salt - a pinch

  • Fresh parsley (both stalks and leaves*) - 30gr

  • Taleggio cheese - 150gr

  • Black pepper corns - to taste

  • Cooking water - about 40ml or 50ml

  • For the pasta

  • Water - 5lt

  • Salt** - 50gr

  • You will need a small bouquet of parsleystalks and to mince the leaves.
  • ** If you want to use less water (not less than 3lt - see the main note about boiling pasta) then you can reduce the salt to 30gr.
  • Strozzapreti - 260gr

  • For making the strozzapreti

  • Plain flour - 80gr (soft wheat weak flour - 9,3gr to 10,2gr proteins per 100gr of flour)

  • Durum Wheat Semola Flour*** - 80Gr

  • *** If not available, use the same plain flour.
  • Water -75gr

  • Water - 15gr (extra quantity for adjustments)

  • Click here to read the recipe for Strozzapreti.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the water to boil and crushing the black pepper

    • Water - 5lt
    • Black pepper corns - to taste

    • One pestle and mortar
    • One 6-8lt saucepan

      Put the saucepan with the water on high heat. Finely crush the black pepper corns in the mortar. Set aside.
      The water will take from 18 to 20 minutes to get to a stable boiling.

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.
      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.
      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.
      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.
      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.
      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 2.
    Toasting, chopping and frying the walnuts

    • Wallnut kernels - 50gr
    • Extravirgin olive oil 50gr
    • Suited garlic - 2 cloves
    • Salt - a pinch

    • One chopping board
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One large frying pan
    • One small plate

      If your frying pan is thick enough and it has no teflon layer for no-stick purposes, put it on a high heat and let it accumulate it for a minute, then put the kernels in it and toast them. Keep starring and tossing to avoid the burning (step 2 - pic. A). If your pan is a thin non stick frying pan, then put the kernels in immediately.
      Lower the heat to a medium power and take the walnuts out. Put the extra virgin oil and the garlic cloves into the pan.
      Let the walnuts chill for a minute. Then, roughly chop the walnut kernels with the chef knife (step 2 - pic.B), collect the pieces trying to leave aside all the skin bits and put them to fry with the oil and garlic. Season to taste with salt and let them fry for a couple of minutes (step 2 - pic. C). They must not get burnt, so as soon as you see their meat gaining a red colour, take them out and set them aside on a small plate.
      The extra virgin olive oil and the walnuts’ oils have been mixed together, so put the pan away from heat and clean the oil from any burnt skins, then leave it aside with the garlic cloves still in.

  • 3.
    Preparing the courgettes, the parsley and the cheese

    • Courgettes 200gr
    • Fresh parsley (both stalks and leaves) - 30gr
    • Taleggio cheese - 150gr
    • The saucepan with the heating water.

    • One towel
    • Cooking string
    • One paring knife
    • One chopping board
    • One sharp chef knife
    • Hot running water
    • One small plate

      Thoroughly wash the parsley and dry it with the towel without making any pressure on it; then, separate the leaves from the stalks. Make a bouquet with the stalks and drop it into the water (step 3 - pic. B).
      Thoroughly wash the courgettes and dry them. With a paring knife, chop off the ends and drop them too into the water.
      Halve the courgettes longwise, then in half across, or even in thirds if so they will better match the length of strozzapreti. If the courgettes are quite thick (more than 3cm of diameter) cut them again longwise and slice off the spongy and seedy centre. Slice them quite thinly (2 to 3mm thick slices) and set aside. These will be dropped into the boiling water with pasta just one minute before straining it.
      Put the cheese on the chopping board, wash the chef knife under hot running water for a couple of seconds. Then, with the blade still wet, slice off the crust of the cheese. This trick will allow you not to waste any cheese. Wash again the blade with hot running water, keep the blade wet and chop the tender cheese into small dices (about 1cm thick cubes) (step 3 - pic. C). Set aside.

  • 4.
    Boiling the pasta and mincing the parsley

    • Salt** - 50gr
    • ** If you want to use less water (not less than 3lt - see the main note about boiling pasta) then you can reduce the salt to 30gr.

    • Strozzapreti - 260gr
    • The Parsley leaves - about 15 gr
    • The saucepan with boiling water, parsley and courgettes’ bits.

    • One chopping board
    • One sharp chef knife

      Add the 50gr of salt to the boiling water and, after the boiling has settled, add the strozzapreti (step 4 - pic. A). Stir frequently to avoid the pasta sticking to the bottom or to each other.
      

Strozzapreti will take from 3 to 4 minutes to cook depending on how thick you shaped them, but you will need to strain them 1 minute earlier: keep a couple of ladles of the cooking water to add it to the pasta while binding it with the oils in the frying pan.
      Meanwhile, finely mince the parsley and set it aside (step 4 - pic. B).

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

  • 5.
    Adding the courgettes to the boiling pasta

    • The sliced courgettes
    • The saucepan with the cooking pasta
    • The frying pan with the oils and garlic

      One minute before straining the strozzapreti, drop the courgettes into the water and stir. Put the frying pan with the oils and the garlic cloves on a high heat again.

  • 6.
    Straining the pasta

    • One small bowl or jug
    • One ladle
    • Large Strainer or a pasta server

      Collect about 40ml or 50ml of cooking water with a ladle and put aside in a small receptacle.
      Drain the strozzapreti and the courgettes with a strainer. Do not let them dry completely: the water that coasts them will also protect them form the thermic shock they will go through when tossing into the frying pan. As an alternative, you can use a pasta server and move them straight from the saucepan to the frying pan.

  • 7.
    Binding the strozzapreti and the sauce

    • Drained strozzapreti with courgettes
    • The fried walnuts
    • Cooking water - about 40ml or 50ml
    • The frying pan with the oils and garlic
    • The minced parsley
    • The diced cheese
    • One extra ladle of cooking water.

    • One ladle
    • Two wooden spoons or silicon spatulas (if necessary)
    • One large bowl

      Immediately add the pasta and the courgettes to the hot oils in the frying pan. Add the walnuts, then stir and toss quickly with the two spoons. Add one ladle of cooking water and keep tossing and stirring frequently (step 7 - pic. A).
      The fat and the water will reduce quickly cooking the pasta, the starch of which will thicken the sauce. Add another ladle if you think that the pasta needs to cook  a little longer.
      If not, take the pan off the heat and move the mixture into a large bowl (step 7 - pic. B).
      Add the minced parsley and the cheese (step 7 - pic. C). Stir evenly with a spatula, add no more than a couple of tablespoons of cooking water and stir, so the cheese will melt and mix with the liquor making a nice coating sauce.
      Serve immediately.

      Note about binding pasta

      As well as for rice, almost all recipes require pasta to be bound together with its sauce and tossed over heat. This allows the sauce to grab on the surface of pasta, wether it is smooth or lined or copper drawn, so that every forkful will have its perfect balance of flavours and textures. Otherwise, sauce would slip away while eating and you would end up with a good quantity of the sauce still on the bottom of the bowl.
      Another very good idea, even if not allowed by etiquette, is to eat pasta, any kind of pasta, with some nice fresh crusty bread. Bread’s starchy flavour enhances both flavours of sauce and pasta dough itself.

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the water to boil and crushing the black pepper

    • Water - 5lt
    • Black pepper corns - to taste

    • One pestle and mortar
    • One 6-8lt saucepan

      Put the saucepan with the water on high heat. Finely crush the black pepper corns in the mortar. Set aside.
      The water will take from 18 to 20 minutes to get to a stable boiling.

      Note about salt and water for pasta

      If you think you might forget to salt water before adding pasta, you can salt water right after putting it on heat. This can become a safe routine, but the commonly unknown result of this is that it will require a longer time to come to the boiling temperature of 100ºC. It would be better instead to wait for the boiling to start and then carefully add the salt. The addiction of salt at this stage causes a sudden increase of the temperature of the solution for a couple of seconds during which the water increases the bubbling and risks to pour out if the pan’s sides are not sufficiently high.
      So the right pan should be taller than its diameter and capacious enough to contain a good amount of water.
      The minimum ratio between water and pasta is 1lt every 100gr. Although, for small amount of pasta it’s better to use a fairly large and deep pan which will keep the water to temperature also after dropping the pasta in. So that’s why I prefer to use 5lt of water even just to cook a single portion of pasta.
      Another important detail of which to take care, is the right quantity of salt to add to the water. It depends on the quantity of salt the condiment for pasta is going to contain and the cooking time that pasta requires; not only on your personal taste.
      A normal dose of salt is 11-12gr per litre of water and it can be increased to a maximum of 14-15gr for those who like their food to be particularly savoury. When using ingredients which are already salty themselves, like bacon or ham, the dose can be lowered to a minimum of 9-10gr per litre of water, as well as when you know that you will bind pasta with a lot of its own cooking water.
      Keep also in mind that longer cooking time require smaller doses of salt whereas quicker cooking will need a larger dose.

  • 2.
    Toasting, chopping and frying the walnuts

    • Wallnut kernels - 50gr
    • Extravirgin olive oil 50gr
    • Suited garlic - 2 cloves
    • Salt - a pinch

    • One chopping board
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One large frying pan
    • One small plate

      If your frying pan is thick enough and it has no teflon layer for no-stick purposes, put it on a high heat and let it accumulate it for a minute, then put the kernels in it and toast them. Keep starring and tossing to avoid the burning (step 2 - pic. A). If your pan is a thin non stick frying pan, then put the kernels in immediately.
      Lower the heat to a medium power and take the walnuts out. Put the extra virgin oil and the garlic cloves into the pan.
      Let the walnuts chill for a minute. Then, roughly chop the walnut kernels with the chef knife (step 2 - pic.B), collect the pieces trying to leave aside all the skin bits and put them to fry with the oil and garlic. Season to taste with salt and let them fry for a couple of minutes (step 2 - pic. C). They must not get burnt, so as soon as you see their meat gaining a red colour, take them out and set them aside on a small plate.
      The extra virgin olive oil and the walnuts’ oils have been mixed together, so put the pan away from heat and clean the oil from any burnt skins, then leave it aside with the garlic cloves still in.

  • 3.
    Preparing the courgettes, the parsley and the cheese

    • Courgettes 200gr
    • Fresh parsley (both stalks and leaves) - 30gr
    • Taleggio cheese - 150gr
    • The saucepan with the heating water.

    • One towel
    • Cooking string
    • One paring knife
    • One chopping board
    • One sharp chef knife
    • Hot running water
    • One small plate

      Thoroughly wash the parsley and dry it with the towel without making any pressure on it; then, separate the leaves from the stalks. Make a bouquet with the stalks and drop it into the water (step 3 - pic. B).
      Thoroughly wash the courgettes and dry them. With a paring knife, chop off the ends and drop them too into the water.
      Halve the courgettes longwise, then in half across, or even in thirds if so they will better match the length of strozzapreti. If the courgettes are quite thick (more than 3cm of diameter) cut them again longwise and slice off the spongy and seedy centre. Slice them quite thinly (2 to 3mm thick slices) and set aside. These will be dropped into the boiling water with pasta just one minute before straining it.
      Put the cheese on the chopping board, wash the chef knife under hot running water for a couple of seconds. Then, with the blade still wet, slice off the crust of the cheese. This trick will allow you not to waste any cheese. Wash again the blade with hot running water, keep the blade wet and chop the tender cheese into small dices (about 1cm thick cubes) (step 3 - pic. C). Set aside.

  • 4.
    Boiling the pasta and mincing the parsley

    • Salt** - 50gr
    • ** If you want to use less water (not less than 3lt - see the main note about boiling pasta) then you can reduce the salt to 30gr.

    • Strozzapreti - 260gr
    • The Parsley leaves - about 15 gr
    • The saucepan with boiling water, parsley and courgettes’ bits.

    • One chopping board
    • One sharp chef knife

      Add the 50gr of salt to the boiling water and, after the boiling has settled, add the strozzapreti (step 4 - pic. A). Stir frequently to avoid the pasta sticking to the bottom or to each other.
      

Strozzapreti will take from 3 to 4 minutes to cook depending on how thick you shaped them, but you will need to strain them 1 minute earlier: keep a couple of ladles of the cooking water to add it to the pasta while binding it with the oils in the frying pan.
      Meanwhile, finely mince the parsley and set it aside (step 4 - pic. B).

      Note about the correct cooking point "al dente”

      “Al dente” literally means “to the tooth”. It indicates the perfect consistency that pasta, or any other food, should have at the end of the cooking process: not too soft and not too hard at chewing. Pasta cooked “al dente” maintains a harder consistency at the centre of the dough sheet which gives the diners a pleasant feeling of “biting” rather than “mushing” something under their teeth..

  • 5.
    Adding the courgettes to the boiling pasta

    • The sliced courgettes
    • The saucepan with the cooking pasta
    • The frying pan with the oils and garlic

      One minute before straining the strozzapreti, drop the courgettes into the water and stir. Put the frying pan with the oils and the garlic cloves on a high heat again.

  • 6.
    Straining the pasta

    • One small bowl or jug
    • One ladle
    • Large Strainer or a pasta server

      Collect about 40ml or 50ml of cooking water with a ladle and put aside in a small receptacle.
      Drain the strozzapreti and the courgettes with a strainer. Do not let them dry completely: the water that coasts them will also protect them form the thermic shock they will go through when tossing into the frying pan. As an alternative, you can use a pasta server and move them straight from the saucepan to the frying pan.

  • 7.
    Binding the strozzapreti and the sauce

    • Drained strozzapreti with courgettes
    • The fried walnuts
    • Cooking water - about 40ml or 50ml
    • The frying pan with the oils and garlic
    • The minced parsley
    • The diced cheese
    • One extra ladle of cooking water.

    • One ladle
    • Two wooden spoons or silicon spatulas (if necessary)
    • One large bowl

      Immediately add the pasta and the courgettes to the hot oils in the frying pan. Add the walnuts, then stir and toss quickly with the two spoons. Add one ladle of cooking water and keep tossing and stirring frequently (step 7 - pic. A).
      The fat and the water will reduce quickly cooking the pasta, the starch of which will thicken the sauce. Add another ladle if you think that the pasta needs to cook  a little longer.
      If not, take the pan off the heat and move the mixture into a large bowl (step 7 - pic. B).
      Add the minced parsley and the cheese (step 7 - pic. C). Stir evenly with a spatula, add no more than a couple of tablespoons of cooking water and stir, so the cheese will melt and mix with the liquor making a nice coating sauce.
      Serve immediately.

      Note about binding pasta

      As well as for rice, almost all recipes require pasta to be bound together with its sauce and tossed over heat. This allows the sauce to grab on the surface of pasta, wether it is smooth or lined or copper drawn, so that every forkful will have its perfect balance of flavours and textures. Otherwise, sauce would slip away while eating and you would end up with a good quantity of the sauce still on the bottom of the bowl.
      Another very good idea, even if not allowed by etiquette, is to eat pasta, any kind of pasta, with some nice fresh crusty bread. Bread’s starchy flavour enhances both flavours of sauce and pasta dough itself.

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