Skordomakaronada - Crunchy Garlic-Rusk Pasta


This rustic pasta dish calls for a sprinkling of dried rusk crumbs and speaks to the ingenuity of Greek island cooks, who used this simple technique to mimic the texture of ground meat. The recipe dates to older, poorer times, but it’s still delicious and a vegetarian’s delight!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and cut into thin slivers
  • 4 large tomatoes grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ½ kilo [1 lb.) spaghetti
  • ½ Mykonos or other barley rusk mostra, ground into hard crumbs, in a food processor or with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 cup Mykonos kopanisti cheese optional
  • ½ cup chopped parsley for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cut the garlic into slivers.
  2. Grate the tomato on coarse side of hand grater.
  3. Heat 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat and add the garlic slivers.
  4. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until soft. Add the grated tomatoes, raise the heat to medium and cook until most of the tomato juices have evaporated, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Add salt, pepper and sugar.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the spaghetti to al dente.
  7. Serve the spaghetti topped or mixed with the sauce and sprinkled with rusk crumbs and parsley. Top, if desired, with a spoonful of kopanisti cheese.

Notes

You can also use lightly toasted large dried breadcrumbs instead of rusk crumbs over the top.

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