14 Apr Nettle Strangozzi
Weekend Special: April 15-17, 2016
InspirationThere’s something charmingly playful about that stringy, velvety, lime-green pasta known as “strangozzi” (or “strangolapreti”), a comestible that has entertained a longstanding renown in Chef Luisa Silvia’s region (and Umbria), each contiguous village boasting its own creative presentation. And perhaps it’s this very drollness that has inspired Northern Italian monks to call it “strozzapreti” (“strangled priests”) over the years and neighboring priests to riposte by dubbing it “strangolamonaci” (“strangled monks”), the mystical viand thereby transmogrified into a metaphor elucidating the region’s deeper clerical tensions.
And who’s to say what strangozzi might bring about in you when you’re presented with Chef Silvia’s unique rendition of it this weekend at Merlo? The culinary imp has been known to elicit some strange occurrences.
Strangozzi all’ortica begins with a mixture of semolina and stinging nettles. This intriguing blend is thoroughly worked with a mattarello (rolling pin) on a wooden board until it becomes an herbaceous pasta that is then cooked and tossed with proscuitto, pork tenderloin, white wine, fresh porcini, pecorino, and summer truffles.