Setaro’s strozzapreti has what may be the most alarming name in all of the pasta pantheon: It literally translates to "priest stranglers." There are multiple stories to explain this morbid moniker, ranging from the innocent to the sinister. Some say that the short, twisty shape, which is traditionally made in Umbria and Emilia-Romagna in central Italy, just looks like a priest’s collar. Others claim that it was served in the Middle Ages to visiting church representatives when they came to collect rent from local farmers. The woman of the house would make strozzapreti in the hopes that the offending priest would choke when he ate it—or she imagined performing the act herself as she rolled the pasta between her palms. But there’s nothing to fear about using this versatile pasta!
Since 1939, the Setaro family have been making pasta on a winding street in Torre Annunziata in Naples. Their factory is on the same street, in fact, where Giada's grandfather once made his own pasta. The semolina flour they use is minimally processed, creating a more flavorful product than those commonly found in the U.S. The company air-dries its pasta in the cool, salt-tinged breezes that blow in through wild rosemary bushes from the Mediterranean coast, a practice that makes for a delightfully chewy finished product.