Chef Michele Usci and restaurant owner Tony Nicolini from Melbourne’s D.O.C Italian restaurant give us insider tips on how to prepare strozzapreti with wild boar sausages and mushroom sauce. This is an amazing type of pasta that literally means "the priest stranglers". It's used widely all over Italy and works best with rich tomato-based recipes. You can also make this dish using lamb or pork sausages.
- 350 g durum wheat semolina
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper
- a little water
- 100 g diced onions
- 100 g dice carrots
- 100 g diced celery
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pinch fresh sage
- 100 g mixed mushrooms (at least 20 g of porcini)
- 300 g wild boar D.O.C sausages (no casings)
- 1 glass dry red wine
- 500 ml tomato passata
- 1 cup meat stock
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the pasta, place the semolina on a clean work bench. Make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well. Add a little water, salt and pepper. Using your hands, work the ingredients to form a dough.
Using a wooden rolling pin, roll out the dough into flat sheets. Cut the dough into 2 cm x 7 cm strips. Lightly roll or twist 1 pasta strip between your palms. Repeat with the remaining pasta. Unlike spaghetti or macaroni, this pasta is not uniform in size or shape.
Cook the pasta in a saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente. (Fresh pasta will cook quicker than dried pasta.) Drain.
Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, sage, mushrooms and sausages. Pan-fry until the sausage begins to stick to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausages. Add the red wine and cook it reduces slightly. Add the passata and 1 cup of meat stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Divide the pasta among plates. Top with the sauce and serve.