Strangolapreti Fritti

Fried Priest Stranglers


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    6 to 10

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

There are many explanations for how this recipe from Basilicata got its name; almost as many as there are versions of the dish itself. It can be a pasta, a dessert or, as here, a platter of tiny fritters to be served as an antipasto. The story (and the recipe) varies depending upon where you are in Italy, but one of the best tales concerns a cook who took revenge upon a notoriously greedy priest by preparing this speciality in his honour. The fritters were so tasty and the priest so greedy that the cook just somehow knew he would stuff himself with them until he choked. Which he did.


  • 300 g/11 oz/2 ¾ cups fine pasta flour or fine-milled plain/all-purpose white flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 ml/¼ tsp salt
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • olive oil, for deep-frying


  1. Put the flour on to a clean work surface and make a hollow in the middle.
  2. Break the eggs into the hollow in the flour and add the salt and the lemon rind. Mix the eggs, gradually incorporating the surrounding flour to make a dough. Knead the dough energetically; it should be dense and tight. Wrap it in clear film or plastic wrap and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

  3. Unwrap the dough and divide it into 10-12 pieces. Shape each piece into a sausage and roll on the work surface to lengthen and thin the dough until the each piece is the same size and shape as grissini (breadsticks). Cut each thin roll into 2.5cm/1in lengths.
  4. Press each piece of dough against the back of a curved cheese grater so that it becomes concave on one side and marked with the grooves of the grater on the other. Lay the shaped pieces on a lightly floured work surface or clean dish towel.

  5. Heat the oil for deep-frying to 180°C/350°F or until a small piece of bread, dropped into the oil, browns in about 45 seconds. Fry the dough shapes, in batches, for 2-4 minutes or until the fritters have risen to the surface of the oil and are puffy and golden.

  6. Drain the fritters on kitchen paper and keep them hot while cooking successive batches until all of the dough has been cooked. Serve immediately.