Every summer housewives all over Greece make homemade fresh pasta. The hot weather helps it to dry naturally and it can then be used all year long for traditional cooking.
The most common type of homemade dry pasta is chylopites, so called because the final product is cut into many tiny flat squares. (The literal meaning is flat pies-layers of dough)
Nowadays dry chylopites can be found in every food store all over Greece so everyone can enjoy them, although it has to be said that homemade ones always taste much better.
Chylopites are used in soups or in savory pie fillings in order to absorb juices, but the most popular dish is chicken stew with tomato and chylopites cooked in the sauce. Traditionally a rooster is the preferred bird, but chicken is fine too.
4 big chicken legs (or a chicken cut in 4 pieces)
1 onion chopped
150gr olive oil
300gr chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
1tsp tomato paste
5-6 cloves and a small cinnamon stick
1.5 litres water
salt and pepper to taste
300gr dry chylopites (or other small shaped pasta)
In a cooking pot over medium heat add the olive oil and when hot fry the chicken in batches until lightly golden. Then strain and transfer to a plate.
In the same pot with the same oil cook the chopped onion and, when it has wilted return the chicken to the pot, add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, cloves and cinnamon and 1½ litres of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 50min or until the chicken is tender.
Transfer the chicken from the pot to a plate, cover and keep it warm.
In the pot with the chicken sauce, add the pasta and some boiling water if needed (there must be about a litre of liquid in the pot) and cook until the pasta is done and most of the liquids are absorbed.
Serve the chicken with the chylopites topped by grated kefalotyri cheese.