Spetsofai (σπετζοφάϊ) is a rustic spicy Greek dish that is made with thick sausages and long green and red peppers in a rich tomato sauce.
It is often associated as a mezze to have over a glass of wine or tsipouro, especially during the winter with a setting featuring a fireplace and perhaps a view of snow and mountains!
Here it is served as a meal on top of penne, paired preferably with kefalotyri, or perhaps even an Italian cheese like pecorino.
Of course though, you cannot go wrong with the classic feta cheese.
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This recipe will have you coming back for more to fill your bellies with rustic flavours on cold wintery days.
300 g pork sausage with leek, skin removed, meat crushed
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 long green peppers, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
400 g canned tomatoes, finely chopped
50 ml red dry wine
220 g penne, cooked, buttered
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Kefalotyri or feta cheese, as well as finely chopped fresh parsley
In a medium pot heat oil on medium heat and cook peppers and garlic for 1-2 mins until fragrant. Add sausage meat crumbled and stir until browned.
Stir in tomato paste and canned tomatoes and cook until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour in wine and when alcohol evaporates, add water until all ingredients are covered. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
Discard garlic clove and check for salt and pepper.
Do not overdo it especially if you use a salty cheese for serving.
Serve the buttered penne with sausage sauce, parsley and cheese.
The word Spetsofai comes from the combination of the Italian word spezz (atino) for the sauce and the word ”fai”(=food).
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