Recipe Friday: The Strozzapreti alla Salsiccia from Pomo Pizzeria

Marilyn HawkesMarch 20, 2020
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This week’s Recipe Friday is courtesy of Christina Barrueta, author of the upcoming Phoenix Cooks cookbook, which will be published later this year. PHOENIX magazine is the first outlet to share a recipe from the book. Barrueta also pens Write On Rubee, a popular food, beverage and travel website and is the author of Arizona Wine: A History of Perseverance and Passion.

The award-winning food writer offers a recipe from Pomo Pizzeria owner Stefano Fabbri, who also owns The Americano, Meat the Ball, Luna Gelateria and the new Pomo Pizza. “This is our best-selling pasta dish,” Fabbri says. “At Pomo Pizzeria we make our own homemade strozzapreti pasta every day.”

While Barrueta was testing this recipe, she experimented with different types of pastas and discovered the dish was just as delicious with mini-penne or campanelle. “It was such a hit that my husband now requests it a couple of times a month.”

Barrueta offers a few tips for preparing the recipe: “As with all Italian dishes, use the best ingredients you can find. Be sure to use sweet Italian sausage without fennel. In these trying times, it’s truly a comfort dish singing the praises of one of Phoenix’s most beloved restaurants.”

Strozzapreti alla Salsiccia

Literally translated as “priest strangler” (strozza means to strangle and preti means priests), this pasta shape is a regional specialty of Emilia-Romagna. Look for this distinctive hand-rolled pasta in Italian shops such as Andreoli Italian Grocer and specialty markets.

Serves 4


1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped (5 oz)
2 lbs. Italian sausage (without fennel seed), casings removed
1/2 cup red wine (or white wine for a lighter flavor)
4 cups tomato sauce
Vegetable broth, if needed
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 lb. strozzapreti pasta, or other short pasta such as penne, rigatoni, or cavatappi
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp. grated Parmesan, for garnish
Fresh rosemary, for garnish (optional)


Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 4 minutes, until golden brown. Add sausage and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up into small chunks, until nearly cooked through. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes, until it has reduced. Transfer to a saucepan and add tomato sauce. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (Add a little vegetable broth if mixture is too dry.) Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, then set aside.

Add cream to sauce and stir. Add pasta and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to coat pasta. Thin with pasta water, if necessary. To serve, divide pasta among four dishes. Garnish with Parmesan, and rosemary, if using.

Excerpted from Phoenix Cooks by Christina Barrueta. Photographs by Joanie Simon. Copyright c 2020 by Christina Barrueta. Recipe copyright Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana – Stefano Fabbri. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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