The Strascinati of Cascia (or also of Monteleone di Spoleto) are a dish similar to the more famous carbonara.
Their origin dates back to 1494, when the Captains Paolo and Camillo Vitelli assaulted, together with their cavalry, Monteleone di Spoleto to lend support to King Charles VII, King of France, intent on the conquest of the Kingdom of Naples. The two brothers, tired and hungry, finding themselves at the gates of the Castle of Vetranola, asked for refreshment. However, considering the inhabitants unfair, they decided to take the castle with force, putting men in prison and forcing women to cook for them. The hatred and resentment that women felt for the two brothers, led them to prepare a miserable plate of "penchi", justified by saying that they had nothing better to offer. Such behavior provoked in the brothers a burst of anger, ordering that all the prisoners, with tied hands and feet, were attached to the horses to be "dragged", until death, around the Castle. The prayers of the women were useless until one offered to vary that dish of plain whites into a tasty dish, as long as they did not carry out the bloody revenge. The young woman then went into the kitchen and with guanciale, eggs, sausage and pecorino, created a dish so tasty that it calmed the Vitelli from their anger, freeing the prisoners and leaving the castle. Since that day the strascinati are a typical dish born in Spoleto, but known as strascinati of Cascia.
For 4 people:
300 g of flour
300 g of sausage
100 g of pig cheek/bacon
Let's start with making pasta. On a pastry board we pour the flour, forming the classic hollow in the center. Let us lay the eggs and salt and knead until the dough is smooth, elastic and homogeneous. Once the right consistency is reached, form a ball and cover it with the transparent film, and let it rest for at least half an hour.
Once the necessary time has elapsed, we remove the film and spread it forming a sheet of at least 1-2 mm thick. Cut it into thin strips about 6 cm long and 2-3 cm wide and with your fingers "drag" each small piece of dough onto the floured pastry board, making it roll up on itself. This is how we create the strascinati. Let's put them on a tray and cover them with a bit of durum wheat semolina, so that they don't stick together and let them dry for at least half an hour.
Let's start with the seasoning. We peel the sausages and crumble them until you get lots of small pieces. Take the pig cheek or bacon (to your liking) and chop it into very thin strips. In a pan pour a little olive oil and the previously minced ingredients and let them brown.
Meanwhile, break the eggs in a bowl and begin to beat them until a froth forms and add the pecorino. We continue to beat to incorporate the egg pecorino to form a cream.
Boil a pot of water and add a pinch of salt, then pour the strascinati. It takes just a few minutes to cook al dente. Once cooked, pour them into the pan with the sausage and the pig cheek making them all boil for a couple of minutes.
Turn off the heat and pour the cream of egg and pecorino and mix. Add grated black pepper and serve. Once on the plate add a good sprinkling of grated pecorino.
Enjoy your meal!
Foto by Salus Caffè Bistrot