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(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.
Feta Tart (Alevropita)
(adapted from Saveur)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons vodka
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.
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