Greek Pasta with Sausage and A Feta Tart

Feta Tart

A set of Greek recipes hailing from Epirus, straight out of the latest Saveur magazine. The pasta dish is packed with bite size pieces of sausage and tossed with a white sauce made of wine and heavy cream. It’s seasoned with lots of fresh oregano and typically blue cheese, which I swapped out for feta.

The feta tart is more like a flat bread, thin, soft and crispy around the edges with dollops of tangy cheese over top. It’s ridiculously easy to make and is unlike any flat bread I’ve had before. The simple egg batter is spread over a hot sheet pan that is swimming with olive oil then the cheese is dropped over top along with dots of butter. I seriously thought I was going to wind up with a greasy mess, but all of the butter and oil soaked right in to make the most delicious crust. We didn’t even use a knife to cut it! We used our hands to pull off ‘rustic’ pieces of bread to sop up the lovely sauce in the pasta.

These could not have complimented one another any better. The pasta is creamy and mild flavored while the tart has a sharp bite and a saltiness from the feta. A perfect balance of flavors. The tart took less than ten minutes to get in the oven, aside from the preheating of the pan, and in the time it took for the tart to cook I made the pasta. I had a hearty, heart-warming and satisfying dish on the table in record time!

Greek Pasta with Sausage and Cheese

Greek Pasta with Sausage and Cheese(Macaronia Me Loukanika ke Tiri)
(adapted from Saveur) (serves3-4)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. semi-cured Greek pork sausages
or sweet Italian sausages, cut into 1/2″ pieces
sea or kosher salt, to taste
8 ounces pasta, preferably garganelli or penne (like Barila whole-grain)
1⁄2 cup white wine or chicken broth
1/4 cup blue cheese or feta, crumbled
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
fresh black pepper, to taste

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and cook until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Strain pasta, reserve 1⁄2 cup pasta water.

3. Add wine to sausages and cook until reduced by one quarter, about 2 minutes. Add the cheese, cream, and oregano and cook until the mixture is thick and the cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved pasta and season with salt. (If sauce seems too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta cooking liquid.) Transfer pasta to a small platter; garnish with grated cheese and season with black pepper.

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Feta Tart

Feta Tart (Alevropita)
(adapted from Saveur)

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons vodka
1 egg
1 + 1⁄4 cups flour, sifted
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄8 teaspoon baking powder
10 ounces feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1. Heat oven to 500°. Put an 18″ x 13″ x 1″ rimmed baking sheet into oven for 10 minutes.

2. In a small mixing bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil, vodka, egg, and 1 cup water in a bowl. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and whisk until smooth.

3. Brush remaining oil over bottom of hot pan and add batter, smoothing it with a rubber spatula to coat the bottom evenly, if necessary. There will be a lot of oil in the pan – it will all soak into the bread. Distribute cheese evenly over batter and dot the top with butter. Bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Printable Recipe

Greek Pasta with Sausage and Cheese

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Tomato Tart with Parmesan and Bacon

Tomato Tart with Parmesan and Bacon

A fresh and simple recipe for a savory tomato tart with Parmesan cheese, basil and bacon corn pesto. The bacon corn pesto I used was leftover from the pasta dish I posted yesterday and is entirely optional. The tart itself is very versatile. Personalize it however you like. You can add a little goat cheese, feta or even mozzarella. A basil pesto would be delicious drizzled over top in place of the olive oil and corn pesto. And a poached or fried egg over top would be absolutely divine, for dinner or with the leftovers for breakfast.

I spent all summer anticipating this tomato tart that I usually make in the middle of August. My tomatoes are late bloomers this year and are proving to be very fruitful, even this late in the season. I really like the way the rich and mild corn pesto enhanced this, by not only adding a creaminess to it but a contrast in flavor with the intense, savory-sweet tomatoes that was delectable. If your garden’s still spitting out tomatoes and you’re running short on ideas this is the way to go. It’s practically fail-proof.

Tomato Tart with Parmesan and Bacon

Tomato Tart
(Crust adapted from NY Times)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, more for rolling(substitute 1/2 of the flour with King Arthur White Whole Wheat if desired)
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into about 8 pieces
3 tablespoons ice water, more if necessary
1/2 – 3/4 cup corn pesto, optional
10 medium sized tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick, seeds removed
sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon
Parmesan cheese, goat cheese or feta
a few fresh basil leaves, chopped

1. Pulse flour and salt together in a food processor, add butter and process until butter and flour are blended and mixture looks like cornmeal, about 10 seconds.

2. Put mixture in a bowl add 3 tablespoons ice water, mix with your hands until you can form it into a ball, adding another tablespoon of ice water if needed. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

3. Sprinkle a counter top or table with flour, place dough on it and sprinkle more flour over top. Use a rolling pin to roll into a circle from center outwards. If dough is too hard to roll out let rest for a few minutes, if dough is sticky, add a little flour. Line a 10-inch tart pan.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put a large baking sheet on bottom rack to catch any dripping. Spread corn pesto evenly over bottom of crust. Layer tomatoes, lightly sprinkling salt and pepper over each layer. The  tomatoes should be a little higher than the crust. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over top. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Meanwhile cook and crumble bacon.

5. Remove tart from oven and sprinkle bacon, Parmesan and basil over top. Or dot with pieces of goat cheese or feta. Let set for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

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Corn Pesto Printable Recipe

Tomato Tart with Parmesan and Bacon

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