For a long time, stroncatura were only peddled illegally underhand. Now what used to be the cheapest pasta is becoming an insider tip for pasta lovers. This is how the classic Stroncatura Calabrese is prepared.

The stroncatura is the misfit in the world of pasta. The reddish noodles, reminiscent of linguine, were banned for many years. Anyone who wanted them 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 even served up in Italian gourmet temples today.

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

Dirty business

Stroncatura was once made from various grain residues that ended up on the ground during milling in factories. These leftovers were simply swept up at the end of the day and processed into absolutely cheap pasta. The result not only tasted sour, it was also mixed with dirt.

However, this did not detract from its popularity. Because the poor rural population of the region was happy about the cheap pasta. The taste was quickly whitewashed with the help of other ingredients such as anchovies. And so the noodles sold like hot cakes even after the authorities had already banned them due to the unhygienic production. The Stroncatura continued to be sold – illegally underhand.

Whole grain instead of leftovers

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

Accordingly, the Stroncatura is now officially available for purchase again, but still only in Calabria, in a one-kilogram family package and in the traditional packaging. As in the past, the noodles are simply wrapped in paper. That should keep the taste. If you don’t want to travel to Italy to taste the legendary pasta, you can order it online or get closer to the taste with whole-grain pasta alternatives.

The Calabrese Stroncatura

The stroncatura was a poor food. The noodles were also prepared in a correspondingly simple manner and without much chichi. There are several recipe variants, but one of the classic ways of preparing stroncatura is with olives, chili peppers and anchovies.

Shopping List

250 grams of stroncatura or whole wheat spaghetti A handful of black olives (pitted) 6 anchovy fillets 1 dried peperoncino 1 clove of garlic breadcrumbs olive oil

That’s how it’s done

Boil the pasta in lightly salted water. At the same time, add a little olive oil to the pan along with a whole clove of garlic. Sprinkle three tablespoons of breadcrumbs on top and toast until the olive oil has been absorbed. Then skim off the breadcrumbs.

Add some more oil, the anchovy fillets and chopped peperoncino to the pan. Once the anchovies have 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