Capellini CrudaoilaJun 16th, 2010 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Cheese, Featured, Greek Wine, Herbs, Italian, Main, Olive Oil, Quick, Recipes, Vegetarian
This dish is for all of you who are looking for a quick pasta dish that’s flavourful, easy and without the need to get the kitchen all off hot and steamy with the the thermometer outside reaching some higher numbers. The warm weather demands easier dishes without sacrificing flavour.
This dish contains a no-cook sauce that hinges on you picking some quality ingredients: ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and parsley, capers, and the Greek cheese known as dried Mizthra. Mizithra is the loose, wet ricotta cheese that you and I know and the dried Mizithra is a salted and dried version of ricotta that’s formed in a ball and when mature, is used as a grating cheese. It’s popular in Greek households, topped on many a Greek dish and as a bonus, it has a long shelf life.
Dry Mizithra can be found at your local Greek grocer or deli or if you live in the US, why not place an order and have some arrive at your door via mail-order? The rest of the ingredients? Most of you have access to all the other ingredients but please do use fresh basil and parsley, a fruity, robust olive oil would be fabulous here and with respect to the peppers, you can make this dish as spicy or sweet as you wish.
I used some slices of sweet red peppers and just enough hot green peppers to give the dish (and you) and pinch of the cheek – not a slap in the face! I should also underline that this is a no-cook sauce and good, ripe tomatoes are needed here. Be sure to use a sweet tomato. I used regular tomatoes, blanched them briefly in boiling water then shocked them cold water and finally removed their skins before dicing. This method is called “Concassé”.
Before we get on with the recipe, a word to the source of the dish: I recently bought ( yes another cookbook) by Aglaia Kremezi. Her latest book is Mediterranean Hot & Spicy and the photos are well-shot, tastefully presented with over 100 tempting recipes with the origins ranging all around the Mediterranean basin. Aglaia Kremezi is internationally known, a cookbook author, food enthusiast, she lectures around the world on the subjects of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and she also runs a cooking school on the island of Kea.
I’m also delighted to call Aglaia a friend, with occasional emails back and forth on Greek cuisine, the state of Greek affairs, to seek advice on a dish or Greek ingredient. I’m delighted to share this dish from Aglaia’s book and I’m sure you’ll be hungry to try many of the other dishes contained in this and her many previous works on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
2lbs (approx. 1 kg) of ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil + extra for finishing dish
3 Tbsp. of capers, rinsed well and chopped
1/2 cup of sliced red peppers
2-3 Jalapeno or other mild, spicy red or green pepper, diced or sliced
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 chopped fresh basil
500 gr. package of thin pasta like angel hair or spaghettini
Approx. 1 cup of grated dry Mizithra cheese
coarse sea salt to taste
- Get a pot of water on your stove-top and bring to a boil. Make an X with your knife on the top stem part of the tomatoes. When your water boils, drop the tomatoes in for approx/ 30 seconds. Carefully remove the tomatoes and place in cold water. Use the back of a knife to peel the skins away and then cut in half, squeeze the seeds out and dice your tomatoes.
- Place the tomatoes in a metal sieve with some coarse salt and allow to drain for about 20 minutes. Empty the diced tomatoes into a bowl and add your capers, chillis, red peppers, garlic, capers, olive oil, half of the parsley and basil and some salt to taste. Mix well and reserve.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a good amount of salt and cook according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and drizzle with some olive oil and the reserved “no-cook” sauce and half of your grated cheese. Divide and plate, top with the remaining chopped herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and some more grated dry Mizithra.
- Serve with a an Avantis Malagouzia from the Avantis winery of Evia.
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.
© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis
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© 2010, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.