Last week we visited our children here in Athens for a few days and on Saturday I visited the centre of Athens where I could find some ingredients which are not available in Nafplion.
Dinkel pasta, black handmade cous-cous with cuttlefish ink, prune jam, tangerine jam, village bread flour, koroneiki variety of olives and chives from the Varvakeios market, are only a few. You will certainly see some of these products in my future recipes.
Some deli cookies, filled with pear for our morning coffee.
I visited my favourite Greek Grocery Store where I know I can find selected Greek products, which are only available in this and a few other stores, I visited Varvakeios, a Coffee shop to buy freshly ground Greek coffee, a Middle Eastern shop, Cleopatra, which however was being renovated, spice shops, charcuterie shops, cheese shops and a shop selling various types of flour, especially Zea flour (triticum dicoccum).
We also visited The Festival of Taste – Art and Fun where our relatives from Sparta are also participating with a booth (Spartan Products) with their products. They are now producing 100% pure concentrated orange juice with no preservatives or other additives as well as an amazing orange sliced fruit preserve.
Really, can a spaghetti recipe be gourmet? My answer of course is yes, if you cook it properly and have selected top notch ingredients.
Let’s see some of the products I used:
First product: Greek White Artisan Cheese in brine, made with Water Buffalo Milk by Beka Family.
You like feta, right? Well, actually it is feta but it cannot be named as feta because it is a Protected of Origin Product (PDO) and can only be named feta if it is made of sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat milk and is produced in certain parts of Greece (mainland and Lesvos island ONLY).
If you like feta you will love this cheese as it has a sub-acidic and piquant taste which leaves a lovely tickle on your taste buds and has a more creamy texture. Before using it in the recipe I tried a bit to see how it tasted and I wanted more and more.
In my recipe I added some mozzarella but I only used it as I had bought it a couple of weeks ago and took it to Athens with me as it was about to expire. However, you can definitely add more of this cheese instead. I am saving this cheese as I have other plans for this delicious “feta” cheese!!
Second product: Greek Tempi sausages. These unique patented Greek sausages are made with smoked beef and pork mince and inside there are cubes of kefalotyri cheese. An unusual combination but the result was amazing.
Third product: Red Sweet Pepper Sauce made by Dolopia. A lovely sauce made with roasted red sweet peppers with a lovely aftertaste of smoked paprika.
These three wonderful ingredients were combined to make a gourmet dish. It did not take more than fifteen minutes to put the dish together and what is more I did not add any spices or salt in this dish because I wanted the spices in the sausages and pepper sauce to do the job for me. Nothing more or nothing less was needed as the dish turned out perfect.
The easiest Gourmet Spaghetti Recipe:
Spaghetti with Sausages, Red Pepper Sauce and Buffalo Cheese
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 500 grams spaghetti
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 sausages with kefalotyri, cut into 1 cm slices
- 250 ml tomato juice
- ¼ cup red pepper dip
- 250 grams mozzarella, cut into smaller pieces
- ¼ cup chives, finely chopped
- Buffalo cheese to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the sausages for a few minutes.
- Add the tomato juice and red pepper sauce and cook five more minutes. (No salt or spices are necessary).
- Turn off the heat and mix in the chives and mozzarella.
- Meantime heat the water in a separate pot and when it comes to a boil add salt and cook pasta according to the package instructions, about 7 – 8 minutes.
- Transfer the pasta directly into the frying pan and mix to combine.
- Serve with grated buffalo cheese and more chives on top.
You can find many more Greek recipes in my cookbook “More Than A Greek Salad”, or in the shorter version “More Than A Greek Salad Just The Cookbook” and “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” both available on all Amazon stores.
Other relevant recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,