Dirty Business: Stroncatura: The once forbidden noodle that everyone now wants to eat

The Stroncatura is the Misfit in the world of pasta.

Dirty Business: Stroncatura: The once forbidden noodle that everyone now wants to eat

The Stroncatura is the Misfit in the world of pasta. The reddish pasta, reminiscent of linguine, was banned for many years. If you wanted her, you had to have contacts. The pasta variant was not considered particularly tasty. On the contrary, the Stroncatura was the cheapest of the cheap, a waste product. But one that is now even served in Italian gourmet temples.

The home of the legendary pasta is Calabria, more precisely the coastal town of Reggio Calabria and its surroundings. So the area that is known above all for one thing: the mafia. Stroncatura has been part of the menu there since the beginning of the 20th century.

The stroncatura was once made from various leftover grains that ended up on the ground during milling in the factories. At the end of the day, these leftovers were simply swept up and processed into absolutely cheap pasta. The result not only tasted sour, it also had dirt in it.

However, this did not affect its popularity. The poor rural population in the region was happy about the cheap pasta. The taste was quickly masked with the help of other ingredients such as anchovies. And so the noodles continued to sell well even after the authorities had already banned them due to their unhygienic production. The Stroncatura continued to be sold – illegally.

However, the pasta that is served as stroncatura these days is no longer waste. The pasta is still made from barley, semolina and water, but without any dirt. Its special dark color comes from the wholemeal flours from which the pasta is made, the special rough texture is due to the coarse grinding degree.

Accordingly, the Stroncatura is now officially available to buy again, but still only in Calabria, in the one-kilogram family package and in the traditional packaging. As before, the noodles are simply wrapped in paper. This is supposed to preserve the taste. If you don't want to travel to Italy to try the legendary pasta, you can order it online or try out whole-grain pasta alternatives.

The Stroncatura was a poor man's food. The noodles were prepared accordingly simply and without a lot of chichi. There are several recipe variations, but one of the classic ways to prepare stroncatura is with olives, pepperoncino and anchovies.

Shopping List

250 grams of stroncatura or wholemeal spaghettiA handful of black olives (pitted)6 anchovy fillets1 dried pepperoncino1 clove of garlicBreadcrumbsOlive oil

That's how it's done

Cook the pasta in lightly salted water. At the same time, add some olive oil to the pan along with a whole clove of garlic. Sprinkle three tablespoons of breadcrumbs over the top and fry until the olive oil is absorbed. Then skim off the breadcrumbs.

Add some oil again, the anchovy fillets and chili peppers, chopped into small pieces, into the pan. Once the anchovies have been dissolved, add the olives cut into rings. Add the pasta straight from the water to the pan and sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs on top. Then mix everything together and drizzle with some parmesan and olive oil.

Those: Vice, Cookingitaly

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