Karima Moyer-Nocchi

Culinary Historian, Author

There are few hard and fast borders when it comes to food, a sign of the permeability of taste, and the willful nature of the spirit to experiment and exchange. Consider the classic Austro-Hungarian delicacy strudel, which settled into northern Italian culinary traditions in both sweet and savory variations. The strudel concept also reverberates in the dish called “struccolo,” but with nuances that more distinctly bespeak its Italian heritage.

The dough is generally an Italian sfoglia made with eggs and flour. The standard filling for the struccolo mirrors the most common filling for ravioli: ricotta and spinach. And finally, instead of being rolled up and baked like a pastry, the struccolo log is wrapped in muslin and boiled. The magic comes when sliced and the decorative spirals are plated with a creamy cheese sauce or a colorful tomato sauce, scented with garlic and browned butter — as I have done here. Buon appetito!


(Watch the video above)


  • 150g type 00 flour (or all purpose)
  • 150g semola rimacinata (finely milled durum wheat)
  • 3 large eggs


  • 30g butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 300g spinach, cooked, squeezed to drain and chopped
  • 600g fresh ricotta
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste


  • 300ml tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 50g butter for frying
  • Grated Parmesan for serving


  1. Mix the dough ingredients and knead 5 minutes. Rest 1 hour wrapped.
  2. Melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic until soft.
  3. Add the spinach and seasonings.
  4. Roll out the dough about 2mm thick.
  5. Cut a rectangle 1½ times long as wide so that it will fit your pot of water when rolled up.
  6. Mix the ricotta with the spinach and spread onto the
    dough as in the video.
  7. Roll up the dough. Wrap in muslin, securing the ends.
  8. Immerse in boiling salted water and cook on medium for 30 minutes.
  9. In a small skillet, melt the fats for the sauce and fry the garlic clove.
  10. Remove and add the tomato sauce. Let it bubble, set aside.
  11. Unwrap & slice. Sauté in butter.
  12. Serve with sauce and Parmesan.