Hilopites (pronounced “HEE-lo-Pee-tez”) are a class of pasta that are made in Greece and some families still have their own recipe, many festivals have ladies selling their artisan pasta and other dry noodles and they are definitely available at Greek supermarkets.
The most common Hilopites are a small square pasta that are often used in soups or a baked chicken dish and the other (the one we’re using today) is a long, thick broad egg noodle.
Ask for Hilopites at your nearest Greek grocer and if you still can’t find them (or nowhere near a Greek grocer)…a broad egg noodle will work fine here.
The second element to this dish is the wine, Muscat de Limnos. This is a fortified white wine, very aromatic and the Moscato grape is used (thus the name Muscat). The Moscato grape appears all over Greece but the finest Muscat wines are reputed to come from the island of Samos.
Limnos is an island just nortwest of Samos and I must say I’m very pleased with the floral qualities of this dessert wine. You’ll admire it’s golden-honey colour, it’s hints of apricot and citrus.
The third component of this pasta dish is fresh herbs. Regular readers of my blog know that I adore the luxury of being able to just hop into my backyard and snip-off my choice of garden-fresh herbs.
One of the first herbs to appear in the garden is mint and this herb is the star of this quick, easy and very filling pasta dish. Like any other good pasta dish, little time is needed and this “sauce” is ready in the time it takes to boil your pasta.
After a rainy Spring here in Canada, it’s fitting that mushrooms are everywhere in the marketplace and although summer’s just around the corner, everything here is seasonal, it’s fresh, it’s bright and as you can see from the photos – meant to be eaten outdoors!
Hilopites With Mushrooms and Mint
approx 2 cups of Crimini (or button) mushrooms, thickly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. of fresh thyme
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
1 shot of Muscat wine
1 500 gr. package of broad egg noodles
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled Feta cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a good amount of salt and add your pasta into the water and cook according the instructions.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add your olive oil and your sliced mushrooms and a little salt and saute for 2-3 minutes while stirring. Cover and reduce to medium an allow the mushrooms to simmer for another 5 minutes (or until they have softened).
- Uncover and the garlic, thyme, stock and Muscat wine and bring up to a boil. Reduce back to medium and reduce until nearly all the liquid is gone.
- When your pasta has been cooked, drain and add to the mushroom mixture along with the chopped fresh mint and some crumbled Feta. Toss to coat and adjust seasoning salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Divide among four plates, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, a cube of Feta cheese and some fresh mint.
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