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Strangolapreti with Butter Sage Sauce and Walnuts

March 10, 2009
Strangolapreti with Butter Sage Sauce and Walnuts

Strangolapreti with Butter Sage Sauce and Walnuts

One of our first cookbooks was Basic Italian by Silverback Books, and we’ve talked for over a year about making these “priest stranglers” (strangolapreti in Italian). These Neopolitan dumplings are similar to gnocchi except that they are made from spinach and ricotta rather than potatoes, giving them a poorly formed shape. Elsewhere in Italy strangolapreti is called “malfatti” or poorly made, and sometimes “gnocchi ignudi” or naked dumplings due to the practice of serving them without a sauce.

This recipe from E-rcps is very similar to the one we used, but ours called for only one pound of spinach and we used pecarino cheese instead of parmesan.

When collecting our ingredients we got our wires crossed when getting the right amount of cheese. Rhi got 4 oz (1/4 lb) of pecorino while Michael used 8 oz (1 cup) of ricotta, causing the pecorino flavor to come through really strongly in the dumpling. Whoops!

Forming these into balls was great messy fun, the kind of thing you might want to do with your kids someday. The spinach/cheese mixture is sinfully mushy so if you’re looking for something more interesting to make then sauteing vegetables or boiling pasta, you should definitely try this.

Though these dumplings are supposed to be somewhat amorphous, we threw them into the freezer and added a little extra flour so they would retain their shape while boiling. Like regular gnocchi boil until they float to the top, and voila! ready to serve.

Despite generally not using a sauce with strangolapreti, we decided to add a little something on top to make the flavors kick (and to balance out the pecorino!), so we browned some butter and threw in some sage and roasted walnuts. Definitely a worthwhile addition in our case.

Even though we added too much cheese (“mia culpa!”) we were still pleased with the results. Next time we might try using homemade ricotta, and throwing some extra herbs and parmesan on top.

3 stars out of 5.

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