Trying new dishes
Before Christmas I attended a fun masterclass with Francesco Mazzei to learn the secrets of fresh pasta making and taste some iconic dishes from the Padana plain.
One of these dishes particularly caught my eye (and my palate!) because it was completely new to me; I found it so delicious, I decided I would try replicating it as soon as possible.
It’s taken me a month or more but finally, I managed to find sometime to make and enjoy strangolapreti, a delicacy from Trentino region in Northern Italy.
What are they?
I can only describe them as pumped up gnocchi, similar in a way to gnudi but without the ricotta and with a different consistency.
At the event, we were given Francesco’s recipe cards, so I had that as a guide, but I slightly modified the quantities and some of the ingredients to suit a small household. I used spinach too, but we were told green veggies such as cavolo nero also work well; I would love to try them again using Neapolitan bitter greens such as friarielli, I think they would taste delicious.
They are so easy to make and cook, it really is a pretty simple dish packed full of flavour. You just need a little pre planning to get some of the ingredients ready.
Find below the recipe.
Serves 3/4 ppl (depending how hungry you are)
- 300gr stale white bread, chopped in chunks
- 300gr spinach
- 1 free range egg
- 70gr grated Grana Padano
- 1/2 small white onion, chopped
- 1 small sweet red or yellow pepper, finely chopped
- 60gr butter
- 200ml milk
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 100gr plain flour
- Salt, pepper
Sautee the sweet pepper and onion in a shallow pan until golden brown, then add the spinach (I used frozen and added them straight to the pan). Cook until soft, adjust salt to taste and set aside to cool. Once cool, use a stick blender to blend up the veggies (but don’t reduce them to a cream).
Warm the milk and then soak the bread in it in a large bowl until very soft.
In a large bowl, mix the veggies, the egg, the grated Grana, the soaked (but drained) bread and add nutmeg as well as salt and pepper to taste. Add the flour and mix until all well blended.
Bring a pan of water to the boil; with a couple of spoons, shape the mix into balls and carefully drop in the boiling water. When they come to the surface, remove from the pan and set aside on a warm plate. Proceed until you’ve cooked all the mix.
In a pan, melt the butter, sprinkle some sage (I used dried) then add the strangolapreti and let them soak in the butter. Add more butter if you like.
Serve immediately and load with freshly grated Grana Padano.
Note: I used tea spoons to shape them so I could serve them to the toddler. They can be steamed too like Asian dumplings, and can be served with a sauce or with pesto. They are delicious!This is not a sponsored post; I love Grana Padano!