Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Strozzapreti with ham and radicchio di Treviso

I decided I wanted to not go to the store for anything, and just eat from the pantry. "Walk my talk" and all that. I had a head of radicchio di Treviso (truly, the handsomest of all endive relatives) that was getting a bit wilty, a huge hunk of Applegate nitrite-free ham, half a red bell pepper (going soft in spots) and an egg.

We also had a nice box of strozzapreti ("priest chokers") from an Italian company that's been making organic, artisanal pasta since the 1300s. When we bought it last week, Scott's mom balked at spending nearly $4 on a box of pasta until I pointed out that it came out to 50 cents a serving. Admittedly, this pasta screams for cheese sauce, but it's still a decent way to use some bitter Treviso and leftover smoky-sweet ham.

I sliced the Treviso into bite-sized hunks and sauteed it with some chopped garlic in a glug or two of olive oil. Added the sliced pepper and ham (shaved on the mandoline), a few good cracks of pepper and a pinch of chili flake. Toss this with the cooked pasta (with a few tablespoons of the cooking water), and the raw egg, beaten. Stir to combine, and top with a metric tonne of parm. Enjoy with a good, cheap Spanish table wine such as Carril de Cotos 2006. The brambles and cherries stroke the bitterness of the treviso, whilst the twang of tanned leather karate-chops the salty, fatty ham and eggs.

22 comments:

peter said...

YES. Bitter greens (reds) with pork, egg, and cheese. And ninja wine. Like a bastard carbonara.

Peter G said...

Yes please!..and more than a metric tonne of Parm thanks!...I'd be happy to get this out of my pantry.

peter said...

Bastard OUTTA carbonara.

Hi-YA!

Manggy said...

Grr! Endive costs the arms and legs of 2 people here! Oh well :/ That is a beautiful pasta dish! I love the personifications you used-- not everyday you read "stroke" and "karate-chops" in a food blog, lol :)

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Pasta, "red cabbage" and ham -- I'm down with that, baby! Your pantry is well-stocked.

kittie said...

Lol - I had a similar argument with an ex when I wanted to buy in a load of artisan pasta ;) I bought it anyway, but I still don't think he was convinced!

How come my store cupboard pasta dishes never sounds as cool as yours?!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I read "priest chokers" as pasta that will reach up and throttle some poor unsuspecting clergyman.

This is a beautiful dish. I'll have to save it for another time when Sir Pickypants is out of town. Damn those pork products!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Oh yes to the comfort food! :)

Mosby said...

That's your pantry cleaner?! Seriously, I need your pantry. Or you tell me what to do with a can of black beans and a jar of peanut butter (nicely, please).

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

I'm all about pasta and comfort food right now! This looks incredible!

Heather said...

Jube - "Bastard carbonara" sounds cooler. This did seem like a thing you'd cook. Except without some type of green mash.

Petah - I shold just skip to the end and gnaw straight from the hunk of parm.

Jube again - /ducks

Mark - More food blogs should have karate chops, I think.

JS - Technically radicchio is not red cabbage at all - they're in totally different botanical families. The flavor is very different, too. :)

Kittie - You probably spend your money on things like cute haircuts and shoes. I buy pretty produce. Too much of it.

Rachel - The etymology of "strazzopreti" is kind of interesting. There's a wikipedia on it, I just didn't feel like giving a lesson (this time).

Jenn - A nice, creamy bowl of pasta always hits the spot, yeah? ;)

Jess - Thai food? Or you can just feed the peanut butter straight to Mosby and have a laugh.

Judy - I still can't believe Floridians eat anything but fish a fruit, with some Cuban mixed in here and there.

glamah16 said...

Nice pantry offerings you have. When things get bare over here it isnt so exotic. I had some bitter greeens last night with dandeloin. It would have worked in something like this this!Yumm.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It looks lovely, Heather! I need to put one of these dinners together soon.

cook eat FRET said...

wonderful in every way, but i tend towards two metric tons of cheese...

you might want to consider that.

abadeeba said...

thanks for the visit by the way.

okay, it's official...i have now read all of your posts (well, okay...some I just skimmed). no need to be scared...i've been keeping up with your stuff for the last few months and stabbing at the older stuff here and there, but I was stuck in a (ugh) New Jersey hotel last night for bidness and had some time to kill as my access to cocktails wasn't as readily available as I would have preferred. let me know when there's a quiz. cheerio.

Brittany said...

I want to know more about that pasta....is it available by mail order? The cozy, warm fuzzieness of this dish is just speaking to me.

I'm so glad it's raining right now.

Leif erik Sundstrom said...

Grrrl, is you gettin tired posting everyday? Loved the recipe, but gotta say I missed your usual sas!

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

I don't like ham. But I'd eat this if you invited me :)

Heather said...

Courtney - I've been thinking about dandelions a lot lately, since I have so many. I leave them for the bees.

Jen - Clearing out the fridge is always cathartic, no?

Claudia - I've made a note to use double the cheese next time.

Abadeeba - My old stuff isn't as good as my new stuff, and my photos have definitely improved. Your photos are great. I'll definitely be stopping by again!

Brittany - I suppose you probably could get that mail order, or just get it at Whole Foods. I got it at New Seasons, but I don't think you have that in Seattle.

Leif - That's easy for you to say, Mr. I Post Once a Week or Less! :P I have a full-time job, then I hafta shop (usually), then cook, then photograph, scarf it down real fast and then upload and edit the photos, then write a hilarious, pithy post. It's a lot of work! I'll try to be more awesome next time. (You do know that I agreed to post 5 times a week for money, right?)

Nikki - Some shredded, smoked chicken or turkey would be good, too.

Leif erik Sundstrom said...

Now That's the sass I was looking for! Good to know my interrogation works! And you're right, I need to get off of my ass and post more. I'm letting you and everyone else down. (PS how the f-#k do i get paid to post?)
PPS At least i plug you!

Foodycat said...

You know what? Strozzapreti would kill with some roast tomato bechamel!

Lo said...

Oh, girl! You know how I like my radicchio! And everything is better with an added karate chop.

Bowing to the pastaliciousness of this.