When you are in a tavern in Greece, it is very probable that you will find on the menu the dish “Spetsofai”. Unless you are a native Greek speaker, that doesn’t make any sense and probably you will skip it, right? Well, you shouldn’t as it turns out to be one of the most famous dishes in traditional Greek cuisine. It’s the best “mezze” you can have with your friends while chatting about everything and nothing together with a bottle of wine.
The dish originates from the Pelion mountain region, somewhere in the middle of the mainland. Pelion offers great views of the city of Volos and the Aegean sea and you can even find the islands of Skiathos and Skopelos in the horizons. That’s right, that’s where the Mama Mia movie was filmed!
The main ingredient of the dish is the spicy pork sausage from the Pelion region. This is difficult to find even in Greece. You shouldn’t be discouraged as any hard and spicy pork sausage would do the job. If you are in UK I would avoid the British sausages since they are too soft and I would go for some Polish ones as they have the right consistency. The French Toulouse sausages would do the job to. The Italians have many options there. Just don’t use cheap hot dog sausages!
I was lucky since I came from Greece with a few packets of spicy sausages and I prepared this delicious dish in no time!
Ingredients (serves 2-3 people)
- 2 spicy sausages (~ 250 grams).
- 4-5 medium juicy and sweet tomatoes.
- 1 onion.
- 2 green peppers.
- 1 red pepper.
- 2 teaspoons tomato purée.
- ½ teacup extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 teaspoon paprika.
- A pinch of dried oregano.
- Salt and ground black pepper.
I start by cutting all the ingredients: cut the sausages in 1 inch (or ~ 2 cm) pieces and slice the onion and peppers in relatively thick pieces. Put the tomatoes in the blender and make a smooth natural tomato paste. You can add a bit of flat-leaf parsley in there if you want. It adds flavour and color.
In medium heat, pour the olive oil in a large frying pan and start frying the onions and peppers. Just before the onions start getting brown, add the sausages together with the oregano. Use salt and pepper to taste, however I prefer this meal to be a little spicy so I am generous with the pepper.
When the sausages are getting brown and the peppers have softened, add the tomato sauce from the blender, the concentrated tomato purée with ~ ½ a cup of hot water. Stir well so the tomato sauce is evenly distributed. Lower the heat to minimum and let it cook until the juices are reduced and you are left with a thick tomato sauce.
Serve it warm, armed with some nice bread and Feta cheese on the side.