Tag Archives: aromanian recipe

Aromanian Pie


Well, with my forgotten English I would like to share with you, other language speaking friends, acquaintances, random readers and food lovers, a new recipe, a traditional one. It is simply called Aromanian pie because I am Aromanian and it is done by all Aromanian women since I don’t know when. I will not get into historical and mythological facts, as I, myself get lost in them too, but I will explain, my way, what are Aromanians, for short. They are people like all these over 7 billion in this world, who live mostly in the Balkan Peninsula and who speak an old and almost lost language, Aromanian and they are close relatives to Romanians. How close or not, I will let the historians and others decide, the thing is that their songs, their costumes, their traditions, their food are unique and if you are interested in them just check my youtube channel, my mom’s youtube channel and others on youtube for music mostly, read Irina Nicolau’s book “Aromanian. Beliefs and traditions”, check Proiect Avdhela – The Library of Aromanian Culture, Gustav Weigand’s new published book “. ”ARMÂNII – ȚARĂ ȘI OAMENI””, 1st volume, etc. There are many resources to check, feel free and open minded, mostly. Google is here to help 😉

Ok, let’s get back to our business. This pie was eaten exactly on the first day of this year. How can I forget, right? I was visiting my godson and his family. His grandma offered me this pie and it was absolutely delicious. It reminded me of the pies my grandma did, decades ago and I asked for the recipe. She generously shared it with me and now I  do the same with you. I did it myself too, a couple of weeks ago and it was not as good as my godson’s grandma, Cati, but I think I know better for the next time. So, here it is an old and tasty traditional recipe of a pie.

Aromanian Pie (Cati’s Pie)

Servings: countless, as many as you get from an oven tray.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g flour
  • about 100-150 ml of water
  • a pinch of salt (don’t cripple the knife, you know what I mean;)) )
  • about 3-4 tbsp oil
  • about 4-6 tbsp melted lard (if you haven’t got any, go for butter, 80-82% fat)
  • 500-700 gr spinach/ garden patience/ nettle, a combination of these or any other green leaves that work in any combination
  • approximately 500 g salty cheese (not extremely salty but fatty)
  • 2-3 medium size eggs (preferably free range)

Method:

  • Mix flour with oil, water, salt into a kneading bowl and well … knead. Besides the flour and salt, put the rest of the ingredients slowly and check until the dough is not too soft nor too hard, so that means that you can add more water and oil if needed. Knead  the dough until no longer sticks on the walls of the bowl.
  • Divide the dough into two equal parts. Spread a sheet from the first part, not very thick nor very thin. Use a traditional paddle called shtzala (it looks funny, in Aromanian would be written like this: șțala) or a longer paddle. In fact the traditional one looks like a paddle without handles, which allows the dough to be stretched into bigger and thinner sheets. Spread 2-3 tablespoons lard or butter on the pie sheet (for my first attempt I put less lard and the sheets were less crounchy). Fold it in 3 parts the sheet then cover with cling film. Repeat the same steps with the second pie sheet. Put them in the fridge for about an hour or overnight.
  • After an hour or after a day, start preparing the filling. Put the spinach or any greenery in a pan over medium heat together with 1-2 cups of water and stir until it becomes paste and the water evaporates more or less. Add the eggs and the cheese (crumbled with a fork) and leave for about 1-2 minutes on the heat then remove. You can use also frozen spinach, it is as good.
  • Take the dough from the refrigerator and stretch the sheets on a table sprinkled with a little flour. Sprinkle a little flour on sheet and start rolling. I use a tray that measures 20 cm wide by 35 cm length (inside) but if you happen to have a tray a little bigger than this, you adapt. As long as it is not too big. Make sure you leave about 2 cm  more of the sheet for the folding of the edges.
  • Put again a thin layer of room warm butter/ lard on top and place the first sheet in the tray. If it is too big, just arrange the sheet so it fits. Add all the filling. Spread a bit of lard/ butter/ oil on the second sheet and put it with the oily side on the filling. Do not forget to fold the edges of the sheets, otherwise the filling will get out. Brush a little sheen of oil or warm butter/ lard on top. This will prevent the dough to harden. Place the tray in a medium heated oven at about 200 ° C / 400 F for 25-30 minutes. My oven is not that high-tech, so I use my head and eyes and nose and common sense when I cook, so you use them too.
  • Remove the pie when browned a little on top and put a few drops of water all over. That keeps the dough soft and easy to cut and bite. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and possibly a plastic bag or cellophane to keep a bit of moisture in. When it cools, just cut it in same size pieces and serve with yogurt. I like it so. 🙂

Good appetite!

img_6041img_6043

img_6042

I’m Not Famous But I’m Aromanian


Today I would like to introduce you to a special recipe, equally famous and tasty. It is a traditional Aromanian recipe, known for years and years. Aromanians are people who live in the Balkanic area and they talk a dialect or a language (here, the opinions are divided and it is not the subject of this blog, but you can get a lot of info from many sites). ‘I’m not famous but I’m Aromanian’, to paraphrase a film made recently by another Aromanian,  Toma Enache. I can not say the same thing for my mother, though. She is famous and she is Aromanian. 🙂

She is the cook for this famous recipe too and she does a brilliant job. I don’t like to cook it, only to eat it. In the future I see myself doing it but until then, I enjoy my mum’s fried bell peppers. It is an easy and light recipe, it requires a bit of work and guarding the cook. But it is soooo worth it. Aromanians call this recipe piperchi țârgâsiti or țâgârsiti, in case you know how to read Aromanian, and I hope from the bottom of my heart that once you eat this, you will definitely ask for more. Cross my heart, hope to live.

Fried Bell Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg bell peppers (or sweet pepper later in Autumn), diced into 2,5 (1 in) pieces
  • 1 kg tomatoes, chopped
  • 250 g cow or sheep feta cheese (you get delicious cheese from any market in Romania)
  • 150 g cottage cheese or green cheese
  • oil

Method:

  •  Put about 500 ml of oil in a deep pan or wok and leave until hot. Put a batch of bell peppers in and stir a bit, until coated. Leave to fry until golden then remove and put to dry in a colander. Repeat with another batch until all the peppers are fried. You can add more oil if needed.
  • In another large pan, put 5 tbsp of oil and add the tomatoes. Stir and leave to cook at a medium heat, until it becomes sauce-like. You can skin tomatoes before cooking and then diced them.
  • Stir in the peppers and mix well. Leave for 5 minutes until it thickens a bit.
  • Add the cheese and mix again.
  • You can have it with a baguette or bakestone bread.

The End, my friend!

Bon appetite!