Fresh pasta, without eggs- Striftᾱdia or Makaroones

Feb 8, 2012

My grandmother used to make fresh pasta for her eight (!) children, twice a week. Actually each of my grandmothers had eight children.

 Her fresh pasta was made without eggs. Eggs were used only in dry pasta. All the taste would come from the fresh homemade butter and the mizithra cheese served with the pasta. Every family in the country side used to have their own goat’s milk in order to make butter, feta and mizithra cheese for their domestic needs. Of course they also had their own flour for bread and pasta and they would buy only those things they couldn’t produce themselves.

When industrial pasta became widely available people stopped making fresh pasta because of the cheap price and the lack of effort involved. That was the time my grandmother stopped making fresh pasta too. I had the chance to taste her pasta only once - at a family gathering many years ago when my uncles asked her to revive their childhood memory. I still remember that taste: simple, very tasty, and heartwarming food. I make this pasta a few times every year; it’s easy to make and everyone will love it.

In the Peloponnesus, this pasta is called “striftᾱdia” which means “twisted pasta”. When made in the Aegean islands of Karpathos and Kasos it is called “makaroones”.
If you can’t make fresh pasta, try the butter, onion,  and mizithra combination with cooked dry pasta to experience  the taste of this traditional dish. It is ideal when you have no time to make a sauce.

Serves 4

4 cups flour
2cups water
Salt to taste
4Tsp butter(or olive oil)
1 onion chopped

In a bowl mix the flour, salt and water and knead until you have a smooth but elastic dough. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and let it rest for an hour.

While waiting, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the chopped onions. Cook until the onion is lightly browned. Set aside.            

Cut small pieces of dough (the size of a walnut) and with your fingers roll the dough to create a thick “cord” on a cutting board. Cut these cords into 3cm long pieces, arranging them on a well-floured surface. Cook in salted boiling water (or milk) for 5min or to taste. Drain and serve hot with the onion-butter and grated mizithra cheese. 

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