Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes (pasta), 15 minutes
Keywords:pasta flour Italian
Ingredients (2 small portions)For the pasta
- 100 g / 3.5 oz. Italian 00 flour, sifted (I use KAF Italian-style flour, but other brands are available)
- A scant tablespoon of blended egg (see Note below)
- Enough warm water to make a total liquid amount of 50 g / 1.75 oz. (see Note below)
- A pinch of salt
- Olive oil
- A shallot, minced
- Leaves of a sprig of thyme
- A small garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 2 cups strained roasted tomatoes (thawed, if frozen)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste
Note. Adding one egg per 500 g of flour means that for 100 g of flour, which is what I usually recommend to start with, you need a fraction of an egg. You can get that by subtracting a scant tablespoon of mixed eggs when you make a frittata. Or you can use a tablespoon of leftover egg wash, which is what I did a couple of times. The amount needs not be precise, so don't worry if you have a little less: you'll simply use a bit more water.
Make a dough with the pasta ingredients and knead until nice and smooth. Let the dough rest, covered, for half an hour or so.
Roll the dough into a disk 1/16-inch / 1.5 mm thick. Fold the dough and cut it into strips about 1/5-inch / 1.25 cm wide. Take up a strip and shape it into several strozzapreti by rolling the dough between the palms of your hands moving in opposite direction and breaking the rolled portion of the strip with your fingers. [You can watch my hands at work in this short video.] Alternatively, cut the strip into 2 1/2-inch long pieces and shape each one into a strozzaprete. If your hands become dry, moisten them or the rolling motion will be difficult.
Lay out the strozzapreti to dry. You may want to dust lightly with flour the surface where you lay the shaped strozzapreti, to prevent them from sticking.
In a small saucepan, warm up a bit of olive oil, then add shallot and thyme. Cook gently for a few minutes, then add garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes. Adjust salt, to taste. Note that this will make more sauce than you need to dress the strozzapreti, but once you have the sauce ready, I am sure you'll find ways of using it, like making more handmade pasta.
Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil, then toss the strozzapreti in it. The time needed is a bit variable, depending on the size of strozzapreti, how dry they are, etc. Taste and stop the cooking when the strozzapreti are ready. Pour a glass of cold water in the pot, stir and drain the strozzapreti. Place in a bowl, sprinkle a bit of the cheese on top and stir briefly, then distribute some tomato sauce and toss. Finally, sprinkle some cheese on top and serve immediately.
Alternatively, while the pasta is cooking, place a few tablespoons of the sauce in a small skillet and warm it up. Taste the pasta and stop the cooking slightly earlier than usual. Drain the pasta and drop it into the skillet with the sauce. Stir well over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle some of the cheese and stir one last time. Plate and sprinkle a bit more cheese on the top. Serve immediately.
Note: if tomato season is ongoing in your area, you can make tomato sauce using crushed tomatoes, adjusting the cooking time to get a sauce of the right consistency. And if you have fresh basil, you can add a bit of it to the sauce.