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Strozzapreti with stridoli and bacon


Sugo matto, this is what Gianni Quondamatteo calls the stridoli sauce for dry pasta and as always when a preparation in the kitchen is defined as “matta” it means that it is simplified, one could say impoverished by trying to simulate a richer original but never poor cuisine it was lightened in flavours…

The shrill or strigoli are tender shoots that are harvested at the beginning of spring, they grow in small bunches and have tender and fleshy leaves, with a bitterish taste. As it often happens with wild herbs are one of the ingredients of poor cuisine, traditional, the one that was handed down orally. Accompanied by garlic and bacon and a little tomato sauce they give rise to the crazy sauce I spoke about above, omelettes, stuffings or tasty meatballs but when the sprouts are particularly tender they can be added raw to spring salads.

As far as I'm concerned, the stridoli I use are grown by my father and do not come from spontaneous harvesting, therefore they are less rich in flavor but equally good. I love them incredibly as a condiment for pasta, whether long or short, and I plan to try them in broth. This “white” version, i.e. without tomato, Seasons classic strozzapreti made with flour and water at room temperature. An entirely Romagna pasta format with a seasoning equally rooted in the territory even if the silene herb (scientific name) is also appreciated in other regions as ingredients for sauces and more.

Of the strozzapreti I had already told you about this recipe based on clams and saffron, while for other recipes with stridoli I refer you to a risotto and at classic tagliatelle which in this season is easy to find even in trattorias…

Strozzapreti with stridoli and bacon

For 2 people:
200 g of spelled flour
110/120 g of water (approximately)
1 bunch of stridoli
1 clove of garlic
80 g of bacon
extra virgin olive oil
grating cheese

Prepare the strozzapreti by making a well with the flour, put a little water in the center and start mixing. Add water until the dough is firm but not too hard (test by pressing the dough with a finger, if it resists too much and the hollow remains, add a couple more tablespoons of water).
Knead the dough, form a ball and let it rest for half an hour wrapped in cling film.
Once the time has passed, roll out a fairly thick sheet of dough (about 2 mm), cut into strips one and a half centimeters wide and roll the strip between the palms of your hands quickly, applying a little pressure. Cut the strozzaprete with your fingers, which will be 5/6 centimeters long.

For the seasoning: wash and clean the stridoli (eliminate the hard parts of the stems and keep the leaves and shoots). Chop the garlic clove very finely and fry it in plenty of oil. Add the stridoli and lower the heat, add salt and cook until they are tender.
Once cooked, transfer them to a cutting board and chop them finely. Return to the pan and set aside.
Take the bacon and slice it thinly into matchsticks. Take a non-stick pan and brown the bacon in its fat. When it is golden, let it dry on absorbent paper and add it to the stridoli in the pan.

Bring plenty of salted water to the boil to cook the strozzapreti; if they are fresh they will take a few minutes to cook. Before draining them, take a little cooking water and add it to the stridoli seasoning which you have put back on the heat in the meantime. Allow the sauce to combine, add the drained strozzapreti and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Distribute on plates with a generous sprinkling of parmesan and pepper, if desired.

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