Pasta to Die For

Even priests can’t resist strozzapreti

It may have strangled a priest, but it's worth the risk.
(photo by Allison Butler)

Pasta so good you’ll die? Rumor has it that a certain type of pasta, strozzapreti, was so good that it once strangled a priest. He was so enthralled with the dish that he ate it too quickly, choked, and met his demise.

While you surely don’t want to meet the same ending, this particular type of pasta is something you shouldn’t miss. According to Valerio Piergiovanni, co-owner of the restaurant Il Ragno d’Oro, it is one of their most popular menu options.

“It is popular, especially in Urbino, because this pasta spans two regions,” says Piergiovanni, referring to Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany. He also adds that almost every restaurant in Urbino serves it.
Il Ragno d’Oro makes the pasta by cutting the dough into short lengths, rolling the pieces up into round tubes, and clapping them between two hands. This produces a slightly curled, twisted noodle, which is then cooked in boiling water with salt until it rises to the top of the pot.

Dishes containing “strangle-the-priest” noodles traditionally come in two varieties, with herb and sausage or smoked ham and spinach. Il Ragno d’Oro serves the sausage-and-herb variation. Piergiovanni recommends pairing the dish with a white wine such as Verdicchio or Passerina Brut. And be careful to eat slowly.

Il Ragno d’Oro
Viale Don Minzoni, 2
61022 Urbino, Italy
0722 327 705

Open every day, 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

This article is from Urbino Now magazine’s Go Native section, a collection of tips and info to help you feel like a local. Please view more magazine articles or order a complete printed copy of Urbino Now.

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About Allison Butler

Urbino has been more than an eye opening experience for me. It has showed me how to face diversity, language barriers and new customs with ease. I have grown as a photographer and journalist and can’t wait to hit the ground running with my new skills upon my return to the United States. I have fallen in love with Urbino and am counting down the days until my return.