June 26, 2008 / Food & Wine
Poverty stricken Romagna has been under the rule of many different conquerors over time. As part of the Papal state since the Renaissance and well into modern history, none however was more resented than the Pope, hence the Romagnoli’s hearty anti-clerical attitude.

One example of this sentiment comes through in the kitchen, in a local pasta called strozzapreti – literally priest stranglers or chokers.

This is a simple pasta made only with water and flour, and olive oil when it was available. There are two theories about the name of these long, irregular strings. One holds that strozzapreti are named after the movement done when preparing the pasta, a motion not unlike strangling someone, while another suggests that it is the “wish” that chefs had for their patrons – most often, affluent members of the clergy.

Either way, don’t miss savoring this incredibly simple but unforgettable dish should you go through Romagna . . . just be sure to eat it slowly!

by Vanessa DellaPasqua

Owner of Global Epicurean, a bespoke travel services provider organizing culinary trips to Romagna, and publisher of

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