Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Strangolapreti (Trentino-Alto Adige)

Every time we come back from our summer holiday in the Alps I get obsessed with their luscious local dishes and specialties, and it takes some time to get over. And this is another example. Tasty gnocchi based on crushed bread and spinach (or similar green leafy veg), its name "Strangolapreti" translates to "Priest Chokers". There is no known sinister/criminal background to this dish however, the origin of the name is supposed that priests in the old days, typically hearty eaters, loved this dish so much and they used to scarf it down to the point they choked themselves. Typical way to serve it is with melted butter with fresh chopped sage. However it goes well with just about any sauce or condiments, and my favourite is wild mushrooms-bechamelle sauce (as shown in the second pic), which I will post separately!

For 2-3 people
150g day old bread, semi-dry, cut in small cubes
150g frozen spinach, thawed
30g trentingrano (or grana padano, or parmigiano reggiano), freshly grated
dash of nutmeg
1 egg

-moisten the bread cubes with just enough milk (adding it little by little -- it shouldn't get too soggy), mix it well to even out the milk, let it stand for about an hour. (tossing the mixture a few times)
-microwave the spinach (the frozen spinach contain a lot of water, so no need to add any) for about 7mins, or until cooked. Let it cool.

-Squeeze the spinach very well, and add to the bread mixture, along with the rest of the ingredients.
-Buzz the entire mixture in a food processor, until it becomes a fairly consistent dough (it gets there pretty quickly, a few pulses, then 10-15 second
-roll the dough mixture onto a generously floured surface, knead briefly to give a little more consistency.
-Make several ropes of about 1,5cm thickness, then cut them into about 3cm long pieces.
-Boil a generous amount of water in a big pot, boil the gnocchi, preferably in two batches (it shouldn't be too crowded in the water, and the water temperature shouldn't drop too drastically)
scoop them out as they float into the surface.
Serve immediately with your favourite sauce/condiments.

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