Strozzapreti with Speck and Pistachio Pesto

Strozzapreti with Speck and Pistachio Pesto
Staff Writer
Strozzapreti with Speck and Pistachio Pesto

Manuela Zangara

Strozzapreti with Speck and Pistachio Pesto

Although strozzapreti, which roughly means "priest strangler" or "priest choker" in Italian, are called for in this recipe, feel free to substitute another shape of pasta. Likewise, if you can't find speck, try prosciutto instead, which may be easier to find. This recipe was inspired by a trip I took to Italy a few years ago, and this is my attempt to replicate one of the meals I shared with a friend over there. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 4  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  ounces  Italian speck, sliced thinly
  • 6-7 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh or canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3  tablespoons  water
  • 3  tablespoons  unsalted pistachios
  • small clove garlic
  • Salt, to taste
  • 14  ounces  strozzapreti or busiati
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, for serving

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over low heat. Cut the speck into 1-inch squares and cook for about 2 minutes. Then, add the cherry tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and water. Cook the sauce cook for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine the pistachios, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and salt in the bowl of a small food processor blend together until a paste forms. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the strozzapreti or busiati 1 minute less than recommended by the package directions, as it will finish cooking together with the sauce. Before draining the pasta, put 2 tablespoons pasta water in the tomato sauce. 

Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan with the tomato and speck sauce. Add the pistachio pesto and the remaining extra-virgin olive oil. Mix well to combine while cooking it over low heat for 1-2 minutes. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
85g
100%
Sugar
69g
77%
Saturated Fat
34g
100%
Cholesterol
3mg
1%
Carbohydrate, by difference
152g
100%
Protein
12g
26%
Vitamin A, RAE
32µg
5%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
2mg
3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
35µg
39%
Calcium, Ca
103mg
10%
Choline, total
16mg
4%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
5g
20%
Folate, total
156µg
39%
Iron, Fe
7mg
39%
Magnesium, Mg
44mg
14%
Niacin
5mg
36%
Phosphorus, P
198mg
28%
Selenium, Se
23µg
42%
Sodium, Na
835mg
56%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
60g
2%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Pistachio Shopping Tip

Whenever possible, purchase whole, not presliced or chopped nuts. They have a longer shelf life.

Pistachio Cooking Tip

Toasting your nuts helps release essential oils and intensifies their flavor.