Stroncaturella: Homemade Calabrian Whole Wheat Stroncatura Pasta
Stroncatura (or "struncatura") is a classic Calabrian pasta that was originally made from the floor scraps of whatever the local flour mill had ground that day. It was illegal for some time, as its production was... less than sanitary.
Today it is completely above board and is an example of a delicious whole wheat pasta with a strong and distinct taste. Unfortunately, it's not widely available outside of Calabria.
"Stroncaturella" is our take on a homemade version of stroncatura. We've replicated the scrappy mixture of the original by using a variety of different flour types. While it is a fresh pasta, not dry extruded like the real deal, it's about as close as one can get to trying the "outlaw pasta" without visiting Calabria.
Like the original, this pasta has a strong taste and requires a strong sauce to accompany it. Here we've included a classic stroncatura preparation, similar to a puttanesca sauce.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
To make the pasta, you will need:
- 100g multigrain flour (we used a 7 grain with rice, rye, buckwheat, etc. Remember: the whole point of stroncatura is to use what you have so don't get hung up on the specifics!)
- 40g buckwheat flour
- 30g whole wheat flour
- 60g semolina flour, plus more for dusting
- 1-2 cups water
To make the sauce, you will need:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 dry or fresh chili peppers, sliced
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 clove garlic, quartered
- 8g (1 tbsp) capers
- 2-3 anchovy fillets
- 8-10 grape tomatoes, quartered
- 3-4 leaves fresh basil
To make the pasta, thoroughly mix the flours and form into a pile on a large work surface. Make a big hole of depression in the center, so as to form a volcano shape. Begin adding room temperature water into the center.
The amount of water needed will vary considerably, based upon the type of flour used. We recommend starting with as little as 1/2 cup (120ml) and gradually adding more until you achieve the desired consistency: a soft but firm dough that isn't sticky.
Use a fork to begin mixing and incorporating the surrounding flour into the water. Once the mixture has thickened up, begin mixing and kneading by hand. Again, continue adding water as necessary, or dusting with semolina flour if it comes out sticky.
Knead the dough until it is very smooth (well, as smooth as multigrain dough can be). Wrap in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. Roll the pasta dough out in a big circle until it is to your desired thickness, dusting with semolina flour frequently.
Dust the sheet of pasta thoroughly and, making approximately 1-inch (2.5cm) folds, roll it up like a flattened carpet. Cut this roll into 1/4-inch slices and carefully unfurl each strand. Be sure to dust the finished pasta with plenty of flour to keep it from sticking together!
To make the sauce, add 1 tbsp olive oil with 1 chili pepper into a small skillet and bring up to medium/high temp. Add the breadcrumbs and toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Set aside for later.
Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, the garlic, anchovies, capers, and remaining chili pepper into a large sauté pan. Bring up to medium temp and allow to cook, stirring frequently, until the anchovies have dissolved.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously.
Add the tomatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened but not to the point of dissolving completely. Salt to taste and tear in a few leaves of fresh basil. Turn off the heat while the pasta cooks.
Gently add the pasta into the boiling water and stir. Please note that stroncaturella is a little bit more delicate than a normal fresh pasta. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes. Save a small cup of the pasta water, and drain.
Add the pasta into the sauce and stir all together over high heat. If it seems too dry, add a little bit of the saved pasta water.
Serve immediately and top with the toasted bread crumbs. Buon appetito!