Readers of The Bitten Word cooked every recipe in the September 2013 Bon Appetit magazine. Here's their take on Strozzapreti with Spinach and Preserved Lemon.
Jessamine: The pasta was pleasingly chewy, the preserved lemon added a depth that’s hard to describe (I guess umani would suffice) while the fresh lemon juice and zest kept it fresh. What elevated it to the level of amazing? Those breadcrumbs. The crunch was perfect, the garlic came through just enough and the flavor was superb. It’s almost embarrassing at how fast I ate this -- think inhaled.
Cindy: This was a tasty pasta dish with a subtle lemon flavor and a terrific crunchy topping. I could not find preserved lemon anywhere so I added extra lemon zest. I think there would've been more flavor pow with the preserved lemon included. By the way, the skillet you use to toast the panko needs to be big enough to also toss a pound of pasta with lots of leafy spinach.
Kristi: Butter-fried panko on homemade pasta? It doesn't suck! I probably would have used less than a teaspoon of lemon juice though. A tablespoon was a bit much.
Maggie: Overall a bit disappointing, although some ingredient substitutions could be to blame. But how can a dish with a whole stick of butter end up so dry? The positive takeaways: preserved lemons are tasty and worth seeking out, and panko breadcrumbs toasted with butter, garlic and red pepper can elevate a mediocre pasta dish.
Lindsay: With a full disclaimer that lemon is not one of my favorite flavors, I was pleasantly surprised by Strozzapreti with Spinach and Preserved Lemon. With three forms of lemon in the recipe I expected it to be overpowering, but it complemented the spinach and fresh pasta perfectly. I could not find fresh strozzapreti at the store, even an Italian grocery store, so chose to make it by hand. The noodles came together much easier than I expected, but tasted a bit too gummy for my liking. It I were to make the recipe again, I would cut down on the butter (it called for a whole stick!), use dried pasta or fresh egg noodles, and add a bit of parmesan cheese at the end.
Jake: While the spinach, lemon and fresh pasta (always a plus) were very nice, it was the breadcrumbs that elevated this dish into one I couldn't stop eating. Seriously, those crunchy, spicy, golden shards made me forget that this was a pasta dish without meat or cheese. It was satisfying, surprisingly light and the new member of my dinner rotation.
Karyn: Pasta with greens, garlic/lemon/red pepper flakes, maybe breadcrumbs? I probably make something along these lines once a week. This was a fancier step up than usual due to the buttery, spicy pan-roasting of the breadcrumbs beforehand (tasty), and if one had gone and done some homemade preserved lemon and a handmade pasta as was the point of Bon Appetit's feature -- well, wow! For my part, I'd had a jar of preserved lemon from an online source and I picked up a package of my neighborhood Italian market's fresh pasta in the shape that looked closest to the strozzapreti in Bon Appetit's picture. With that in hand, this was an easy, lovely weeknight dinner.
Carroll: Surprisingly decadent for a vegetarian dish, the delicious and flavourful toasted spicy panko crumb makes the dish extraordinary!
Get the Strozzapreti with Spinach and Preserved Lemon recipe at Bon Appétit