Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pasta Cypriana (Cypriot Recipe)

500gr of spaghettini (thin spaghettis or any other pasta you might like)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Thinly grated anari cheese (if anari cheese is not available use any other hard cheese you might personally like)
1½ cup of freshly grated tomatoes
½ cup of lountza sliced (if lountza is not available use normal ham)
¾ of a cup thickly chopped onion
¾ of a cup of fresh mushrooms cut into cubes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
6-8 thinly sliced basil leafs
½ teaspoon sugar
Preparation of the recipe:
Start with the sauce first. Place in a pan the olive oil and heat it well (medium fire). When the oil is hot enough add the onion and stir it until it gets glossy. Then add the sliced lountza and stir it for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms in the rest ingredients and stir until they start to lose their white color.
At this stage season with salt and pepper and add the tomatoes. As soon as you add the tomatoes add also ½ a cup of tap water in the pan. Stir well and let the fire do the rest. If you would like you could cover the pan but do not totally cover it. Let some space free so that the steams would come out of the pan. Keep the sauce cooking for 20-25 minutes on a medium fire until almost all the water evaporates. Do not totally dry it as it will not be a sauce anymore. When you take it of the fire and is still hot, add the basil leafs and the sugar and stir again for a while. Instead of sugar you could use a tablet of aspartame but this depends on your own tastes. I personally prefer aspartame.
Cook the spaghettinis according to the time directions of the manufacturer and season them with salt. Make sure you don’t overcook them. The secret with pasta is that as soon as it is ready, drain it and put it under running cold water. When it is cold enough put it back in an empty pot and add the olive oil. Mix it well so that the olive oil is spread evenly. This will stop it from over cooking and will not allow it to become sticky.
Pasta should not be served cold. Therefore, when is time to serve, place the pasta into boiling water for some seconds until warm enough. Alternatively share the pasta into portions and place them into the microwave for one minute each.
As soon as the pasta is hot again spread over it some of the sauce and additionally sprinkle some anari cheese over it. Enjoy!

Note: The anari cheese and lountza are products of Cyprus. Any sauce left over do not throw it away, just place it in the freezer and use it next time.