The 12th Blogiversary Celebrations continue here on AprilJHarris.com with another delicious guest post from one of my blogging friends. I only discovered Culinary Flavors recently when I ‘met’ its lovely writer, Katerina, through one of my blogging group. Katerina has a wonderful writing style and usually shares a bit about the history of her recipes and/or the ingredients in her posts, making them really interesting. I love Greek and Mediterranean food and as Katerina actually lives in Greece she is ideally placed to share authentic recipes and traditions. I was really pleased when she agreed to write a guest post for me. So, without further ado, over to friend Katerina!
Hi! I am Katerina and I live in Greece. I have been blogging since 2008 and during these years, I have met so many wonderful people around the world. When April invited us to celebrate her anniversary by guest posting for her, I immediately jumped in. I love partying and celebrating and I love offering gifts to friends. So, for April’s virtual party I have decided to make Pastitsada.
Pastitsada is a savory dish coming from the beautiful island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea. Perhaps some of you may have heard of it or even visited it, since it is a very popular tourist destination. Corfu is situated in the northern part of the Ionian Sea and it has been occupied since Homer’s time. Corfu’s Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water symbols: Poseidon, god of the sea, and Asopos, an important Greek mainland river.
According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopus and abducted her. Poseidon brought Korkyra to an unnamed island and as a marital gift he offered her name to it: Korkyra, which eventually became Kerkyra in the Doric dialect. Korkyra gave birth to a child called Phaiakes after whom the inhabitants of the island were named: Phaiakes. Corfu’s nickname is The Island of the Phaecians. Myth says that it was the next to last destination of Odysseus before he arrived home.
From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island was recognized as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe. The last occupants of the island were the British. Corfu was ceded by the British Empire, along with the remaining islands of the United States of the Ionian Islands, and unification with modern Greece was concluded in 1864 under the Treaty of London.
Corfu, the island of Faiakes, is very green with some of the most beautiful beaches.
Pastitsada, one of Corfu’s most famous traditional dishes, is a stew made with rooster or veal and thick spaghetti, spaghettone as the Italians call it. It is cooked in red wine with the addition of several spices that make it special and delicious. If you cannot find rooster, try it with veal or even chicken, you will be amazed!
- 1 kg / 2 pound veal or one rooster cut in four or one chicken cut in four
- 500 grams / 1 pound spaghettoni or any thick pasta I used rigatone
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups dry red wine
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Pour the olive oil into a deep pot and sauté the meat over medium heat.
- Remove the meat from the pot and add the onion and garlic and sauté until they become soft.
- Add all the spices, sugar, salt and pepper and return the meat to the pot.
- Increase heat to high.
- Pour in the wine and vinegar.
- Let the wine and vinegar boil for one minute, then turn heat to low and let it simmer for as long as it takes for the meat to become tender and cooked through. (If you are using chicken, it will take about an hour. If you are using rooster, it will probably need an hour and a half or two hours. For the veal it is going to need more than two hours, between two and a half to three.)
- Half an hour before the meat is done, boil the pasta according to your liking.
- Serve the pasta on plates and on top add the meat with the sauce.
Thank you so much to Katerina of Culinary Flavors for this wonderful guest post. I had never heard of Pastitsada before and now I can’t wait to try it! Katerina’s goal is to bring you authentic Greek and Mediterranean flavours directly from Athens. In other words, shake up your kitchen and inspire you to try new dishes your family will love! Katerina is a mother, businesswoman and cook – all wrapped into a passionate woman who wants to share her love of cooking with others.
You can also find Katerina on
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