Friday, March 20, 2009

Priests Beware!! - Strangolapreti; "Priest Stranglers"

Strangolapreti, literally translated, means Priest Choker or Priest Strangler. This particular version is either from the Trentino, Alto Adige or Friuli regions of Northern Italy where there is a lot of German influence to the cuisine. For all intensive purposes this is simply another form of "Gnocchi" utilizing day old bread or bread crumbs instead of Ricotta (Lombardia & Tuscany), Potato (Piemonte), Pumpkin (also Tuscany) or Pasta Dough (Emilia-Romagna, Campania and Lucania; also Sardinia)

I originally picked this recipe up from La Cucina Italiana a couple of years ago... I don't know if my bread is just never stale enough or not, but I have found that I ALWAYS seem to have to add at least 3/4 cup of flour to the recipe, in order for the dough to become workable and not just a sticky mess in the food processor. Next time I make these, I am going to simply puree the Swiss Chard by itself and and see it that makes a difference in the dough texture. But for now, this is the my altered version of the original recipe.


7 1/2 oz Stale White Bread
3/4 cup Whole Milk
1 tsp Salt
1 pound Swiss Chard
1 large Egg
1 cup AP Flour
4 TB Unsalted Butter
5 large Sage Leaves; chopped
Cracked Black Pepper
4 oz Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese

My bread must have been REALLY light, cause it took alot to make 7 1/2 oz - They had suggested 7 Slices...

Cut bread into cubes and place in a large bowl.

Add milk and cover mixture with plastic wrap;

weight with a plate or smaller bowl filled with water.

Chill in refrigerator overnight.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Rinse the chard, and remove the ribs; chop coarsely.

Add chard to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute; drain

and rinse with cold water to cool.

Once cooled enough to handle, squeeze water from chard.
In a food processor, puree bread and milk until slightly chunky, about 30 seconds.

Add chard, egg and 1 teaspoon salt; puree until a paste forms. (about 2 minutes)

Add 1/2 cup flour and pulse a couple of times.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over your board and turn paste out, gently kneading until incorporated.
Add another 1/4 cup of flour a little at a time, stopping when you have achieved a smooth ball.

Divide into 4 pieces, rolling each piece into a 1/2 inch diameter rope.
Cut crosswise into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, or reheat the water from blanching the chard.
Add strangolapreti about 20 at a time; cook until strangolapreti float and are cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer strangolapreti to a warmed serving bowl.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; add sage leaves, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until butter is fragrant and flavored with the sage, about 5 minutes.

Remove sage leaves, pour butter over strangolapreti, add Cracked Black pepper, 2 oz of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and more chopped Sage (if desired); tossing gently to combine.

Serve with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Gnocchi on Foodista


Alisa@Foodista said...

Delicious! What a great recipe! Hope you can come over and share this yummy treat over at - the cooking encyclopedia everyone can edit. Would also love a link to this post from our site.(This will direct Foodista readers to your blog)Here's how you can create inbound links from our site Check it out here. This is a great way for you to build blog traffic and connect with other food lovers! See you there! Thanks!

Ericka said...

Yay! A recipe that uses Swiss Chard! My husband grows a ton of it in the back yard every year, but I never know what to do with it.

Thanks for the new ideas, and your gorgeous blog :)

Bob said...

What an odd name. Do you happen to know why they are called that? They look tasty though, I really need to make some homemade pasta.

Michele said...

Lookin' Good! That's a dish this Italian girl never heard of! You never cease to impress me!!!!

Culinary Alchemist said...

Thanks for the invite Alisa

Ericka - I am glad you liked it. Sounds like your set for Swiss Chard.

Bob - There is a legend that a Priest actually strangled to death on them.

Michele - Thank you :)