Strangozzi alla Spoletina, Strangalopreti, Picci
Preparation - Medium
Poor priests! Every Italian region seems to have its strozzapreti or strangozzi - "priest stranglers". The reason is that priests sometimes dined in the homes of their parishioners - and these meals were designed to fill them up.
This version is home-made pasta with a simple, tangy tomato sauce. You can find the pasta at MAKING PASTA AT HOME
2 - 3 T extra virgin oil
1 - 3 cloves garlic (to taste), cut very small
¼ - ½ pepperoncino, or ¼ - ½ t red pepper flakes
1 14.5 oz can plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley as garnish
In a frying pan large enough to hold the sauce and the cooked pasta (wok type is good), heat the oil on medium heat.
Add the garlic and hot pepper and gently brown to light golden color. Add the can of tomatoes, with the juice.
Before adding salt, taste the mixture - some canned tomatoes are already salted.
If your sauce is over-salted, dice one or two fresh tomatoes very small and add them to the sauce.
Cook uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce becomes less liquid - the tomatoes are still separate entities, but soft, about ½ hour.
Put your pasta water on to boil - the pasta will take about 4 minutes to cook in boiling water.
Season sauce with salt (if necessary) and ground black pepper to taste.
Add a T of coarse salt to the boiling pasta water, and throw your pasta in when the water returns to the boil. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Lift a strand of pasta out with your fork, let it cool, and bite it - this is the best way to test if pasta is 'done' or not - remember that it will cook a bit more when you 'finish' it.
Drain the pasta; when well drained pour into the pan holding your sauce. Mix well, serve in cooking vessel or pour out into heated serving bowl.
Garnish with parsley and serve.