The Hudson Valley’s Best Pasta Dish Is So Good We Had To Clone It

I’m completely obsessed with this delicious pasta dish from one of the best restaurants in the Hudson Valley and even figured out how to make it at home.

Every once in a while you come across a restaurant that hits all the right buttons. For me, it’s all about fresh ingredients, layers of flavor and perfect execution. All of these things came together and sent me to pasta heaven when I ordered what I think is the best menu item in the Hudson Valley.

For years our family celebrated special occasions and holidays at Il Barilotto in Fishkill Village. When we learned that the restaurant had closed, we were won over. So you can imagine our delight when we learned that the folks behind Il Barilotto had opened a brand new restaurant just down the street.

Il Figlio Enoteca opened last year and that’s all Il Barilotto was and more. Although technically located in a strip mall, entering this huge space is like walking through a portal to a restaurant in New York City. The two floors of the dining room and large bar accommodate far more people than Il Barilotto ever did. And the best part is that everything we loved about the old restaurant, including the best pasta dish ever, lives on.

Il Figlio Enoteca

Il Figlio Enoteca

Strozzapreti loosely translates from Italian as “priest’s choker”. Although it might not be the most appetizing name, this pasta dish originally served at Il Barilotto is now available at Il Figlio and it is the most amazing thing I have ever ordered.

Priest’s Neck Roll Pasta takes its name from the glutinous Italian priests who allegedly loved this hand-rolled pasta so much that they choked on chowing down on it so quickly. You can think of it as an elongated cavatelli. And while this unique style of pasta is extra special, what makes this dish is the sauce.

Il Figlio serves his strozzapreti with crumbled sausages in a tomato cream sauce with peas. The long, absorbent batters soak up all the flavors, making every bite a thing of perfection. Topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, this meal is by far the best thing I have ever eaten in the Hudson Valley. I love it so much that after Il Barilotto closed I spent months researching recipes hoping to make some at home.

The hardest part of recreating this incredible dish is finding the pasta around the priest’s neck. I couldn’t find any local stores that stocked strozzapreti, but I was able to order some online. While you can make this dish with other types of pasta, there’s something magical about priest’s neck pasta that really complements the dish.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison between the Il Figlio strozzapreti and my homemade version. I was amazed not only by how similar they looked, but also how well I was able to recreate the taste of this incredibly delicious pasta dish. (mine is on the right)

I highly suggest visiting Il Figlio and ordering the strozzapreti before tackling this at home for the first time. Knowing how amazing this meal is supposed to taste will help guide you through the process.

After translating a few Italian recipes I found online and combining them with a few similar dishes I found around the country, I think I came across a fairly close clone of Il Figlio strozzapreti.

1 package of Premio sausage meat (without casings)
1 medium onion
1 bottle of strong red wine
4 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb strozzapreti pasta (priest’s chokers)
Fresh parmesan cheese

Slice the onion and sauté in olive oil until translucent. Add the sausage and reduce the cooking while breaking it into crumbly pieces. Take some red wine and add it to the pan until the sausage turns slightly purple. Once the wine has been absorbed, add the tomato sauce and transfer to a saucepan with a loose lid to simmer for a few hours.

When ready to eat, start cooking the strozzapreti pasta as directed and mix the cream and frozen peas into the sauce. Drain the pasta when you are done and add it to the sauce. Allow the flavors to meld for a few minutes before plating the pasta and garnishing with freshly grated Parmesan.

If you try this dish for yourself, I’d love to know how it came out and if you think it’s as good as Il Figlio’s strozzapreti.

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