«Although I prefer strangling priests with my bare hands, these gnochi look pretty tempting.» Stumble upon 28/08/2007
Priest-stranglers in Neapolitan Meat Sauce (page 2 of 2)Home >> Recipes
Strangolapreti (Napolitan gnocchis)
Boil the potatoes with their skins on, or steam them without their skin, until they are soft but not mushy. Purée them in the finest grinder you have. Chunks and little black spots are not cool and they will show. If you don't believe me please check my pictures carefully and you'll see what I mean.
Add the flour until you get a smooth paste, not too soft. You can add an egg but it's not really necessary. The more flour, the harder and heavier they will be. In Napoli in the 18th century they made it with flour only - great if you need to choke a priest but not very light. Potato-based gnocchis are much superior and used everywhere in Italy nowadays.
My gnocchi dough is not very smooth and is quite chunky. Use a finer grinder than I did.
Cut a small piece of dough and roll it on lightly floured work space. The roll should have the same diameter as the base of your medium finger.
Cut pieces of dough from the roll about the size of a knuckle of your thumb.
If the cooking time makes the ragù, it's he shapethat makes the gnoccho. Hastily made gnocchi have no shape - they look like small barrels. By pressing each gnoccho gently on a fine grater or a bamboo mat, you will make it thinner, curved on one side and marked with little cavities on the other. This will result in a lighter gnoccho to which a much larger quantity of ragù will stick. They are also more appealing to the eye.
These are not the nicest gnocchis ever, but I made another batch the next day with much nicer results. Both tasted the same, so good luck!
Bring salter water to a high boil and don't add oil no matter what your daddy told you. Prepare the gnocchis on a plate or in a folded towel.
Pour all your gnocchis in the boiling water at the same time.
Increase the heat to maximum to compensate the temperature drop due to
the cold gnocchis and don't cover. Really don't. Covering a pot of
cooking pasta is said to be enough ground for a divorce in Naples.
Your gnocchis will be cooked when they come to the surface. Eat one to make sure. Using a slotted spoon, take them out and put them in a strainer. Don't, please don't, pour down gnocchis and water into a strainer. This will break the gnocchis and overcook them and just shows poor taste in a kitchen.
Heat the serving plates with a ladleful of hot cooking water, shake the gnocchis in the strainer so excess water falls off and put them carefully in the plates.
Finally, the gorgeous strangolapreti are ready to serve in the luscious, velvety dark red ragù.
really is a fantastic dish, well worth the effort. The recipe is for 4
large portions or 8 as a first course. You can definitely make the ragù
the day before, keep it in the fridge and remove the tiny spots of fats
that will come up on top the next day.
My recipe comes from the monumental La cucina napoletana by Jeanne Caròla Francesconi, a monumental 750 pages long tome about every traditional napolitan dish and its history. It has a long, passionate discussion of the ragù, its origins, cultural importance in Naples and accepted variations. If you read Italian this is a must. Although it has no pictures, it still is one of my 10 favorite cookbooks, and I have many.
Oh - the pig roast. Well, you can serve it a second course or in an entirely different meal. It only serves to impart porky flavor to the sauce and is never eaten with the sauce.
Good luck and let me know how you fare with this dish!