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Kritharaki me Fakes kai Pasto (Orzo with Lentils and Smoked Pork)

Kritharaki me Fakes kai Pasto (Orzo with Lentils and Smoked Pork)

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Kritharaki me Fakes (pronounced fakhés) is a pasta dish made with orzo and brown lentils.   This is a different way of making the Cypriot dish called fakhés moudzentra, which is a staple lentil dish, cooked with brown lentils and rice and then caramelized onions, which are called “tiganissi”, are mixed in.

The only spices used are salt and pepper, yet this very simple vegan dish is not only very healthy but also delicious.

Rice or pasta is not the main ingredient but it is mainly used to absorb the fluids and thicken the dish to resemble like a risotto and not a soup.

Fakes me kritharaki image

When my friend Natasha, of 5 Star Foodie announced her new 5 Star Makeover Event which is to make any kind of Pasta and incorporate different kinds of ingredients, I decided to make over this classic Cypriot dish and turn it into a pasta dish.

In the classic Cypriot recipe no tomato is added.  I added some tomato paste, although I regret I did not add some fresh tomatoes as well, mainly to give it more colour, and when the dish was cooked I mixed some of the flavourable “pasto” in it, which made this humble dish into a “gourmet” dish.

You can still make this recipe vegan without the meat and it will still tastes great.    However, if you do want some extra flavour and don’t have pasto, try substituting it with another smoked meat or still add your favourite sausage to it.

ollage Fakes me kritharaki image

Kritharaki me Fakes kai Pasto (Orzo with Lentils and Pasto)

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups small brown lentils
  • 2 cups kritharaki, (orzo)
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1 cup pasto Lakonias (Smoked ham from Lakonia)
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Clean the lentils as sometimes some debris may be found in the package and then wash them.
  2. Put them in a saucepan with enough water to cover them boil for five minutes.
  3. Drain them and add fresh water and put to boil again.
  4. Meantime, in a frying pan heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until it caramelizes and starts to turn to brown.
  5. When lentils begin boiling again mix in the tomato paste,  lower heat and cook for fifteen minutes.
  6. Then add the pasta and season with salt and pepper and mix in the caramelized onions, together with the oil and simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes, mixing every now and then, until the pasta is cooked.If needed add more water.
  7. Five minutes before they are cooked, cut the smoked ham in smaller pieces and mix in with the lentils and serve.

Fakes me kritharaki photo

 

kritharaki Lentils with orzo image

Kritharaki me Fakes kai Pasto (Orzo with Lentils and Smoked Pork)

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Kritharaki me Fakes (pronounced fakhés) is a pasta dish made with orzo and brown lentils. This is a different way of making the Cypriot dish called fakhés moudzentra, which is a staple lentil dish, cooked with brown lentils and rice and then caramelized onions, which are called "tiganissi", are mixed in.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups small brown lentils
  • 2 cups kritharaki, (orzo)
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1 cup pasto Lakonias (Smoked ham from Lakonia)
  • 3 cups water

Instructions

  1. Clean the lentils as sometimes some debris may be found in the package and then wash them.
  2. Put them in a saucepan with enough water to cover them boil for five minutes.
  3. Drain them and add fresh water and put to boil again.
  4. Meantime, in a frying pan heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until it caramelizes and starts to turn to brown.
  5. When lentils begin boiling again mix in the tomato paste, lower heat and cook for fifteen minutes.
  6. Then add the pasta and season with salt and pepper and mix in the caramelized onions, together with the oil and simmer for another 15 – 20 minutes, mixing every now and then, until the pasta is cooked. If needed add more water.
  7. Five minutes before they are cooked, cut the smoked ham in smaller pieces and mix in with the lentils and serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

The recipe for the original Fakes Moutzentra is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in Volume 1 of my e-cookbook, sold on all Amazon stores.
My cookbooks:

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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tigerfish

Sunday 25th of April 2010

I have not tried cooking with orzo before.

tobias cooks!

Saturday 24th of April 2010

thats fun, I posted a Kritharotto for the 5 star makeover event!

yasmeen

Friday 23rd of April 2010

I love orzo pasta,almost looks like long grain rice. Thanks so much for alerting me .Hope the owner of the site responds to my request .

lisaiscooking

Friday 23rd of April 2010

I love simple dishes with lentils, and this sounds great with the orzo and tomato paste! This is great comfort food!

Teresa

Thursday 22nd of April 2010

Ivy I love this dish. I've only had orzo once in my life and I really liked it. I'm embarrased to say I've never cooked it myself, but I sure would love to make this recipe.

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