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Making homemade pasta, brushing the grit off fresh porcini mushrooms, simmering pumpkin in butter and sage,

and flaking truffles on the designated slicing implement, constitute some of my highest culinary moments of bliss. Combining the lot and making dinner is my epitome of gastonomic ga ga. Heres a seasonal autumn/winter recipe I love to make, prepare and scoff in equal measure. The term Strozzapreti (literally Priest Chokers) carries with it the implication that the cooks intent is that these rather hearty half-dumplings half-cavatelli type pasta, will catch in a priest's delicate throat as they're going down. I doubt it, they are simply very good and might simply be the avid eaters big mouthful, whatever the religious belief. Strozzapreti, Ingredients 250 gr 150 cc A Porcini, for 1/4 cup) pinch Zucca 4 cups) all mineral purpose water of & Tartufo epicureans: flour, sifted (not sparkling!) salt

(1 (1/2

Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl, add the salt and water and knead the dough until a thick lumpless ball forms, this should take no longer than 6 minutes, as overkneading will make the dough excessively hard. Divvy up the dough in apricot-size balls and separate them on your work surface (preferably wooden) dusted with more flour. You can now proceed to shaping it into your strozzapreti. Roll the dough balls flat with a dusted rolling pin, to a 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness. Fold the flattened dough over like a burrito and cut 1/2 inch slices. Undo the strands and flour them too to avoid stickage. Now to obtain the typical strozzapreti shape, you have to take each individual strand and roll it between your palms. The result is a rolled up towel shape, one very suitable for virtually grabbing the sauce. Dust a kitchen towel with flour and rest the strozzapreti on it for about 30 minutes before cooking.

Now onto the salsa. 200 gr (1 cup) fresh porcini mushrooms 200 gr (1 cup) fresh pumpkin pulp, diced 1 small black truffle (if you can get your hands on a delicate white Piemontese tartufo, even better) 1 200 50 Salt sprig ml gr & (7 of fl (1/4 pepper fresh oz) cup) to whole sage milk butter taste

Clean the porcini by rubbing them gently with a damp cloth and chopping off the soiled part of the stems. Slice the larger ones and halve the smaller caps and stems. In a large enough skillet, saut the pumpkin in butter and sage for 3 minutes, over vivacious heat. Add the milk, lower the heat and cook for 5 more minutes. Now add the chopped mushrooms, adjust seasoning and cook for 10 more minutes. In the meantime bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil and cook your strozzapreti al dente (this will take a lot less time than regular dried pasta, so keep a close watch). Drain the pasta and transfer it to the warm skillet where the sauce is, and blend well off the burner. Dish out and then sliver the tartufo wafers directly in the individual plates. No Parmigiano this time, the tartufo would otherwise suffer. A good wine for this cold weather extravaganza is a Colli del Trasimeno or any ros that will allow the mixture of flavors to remain intact while sustaining the contrast between the pastas tenacious nature and the sauces velvety softness. Buon appetito.