Spetsofai

Pelion Spetsofai with aubergine, peppers and local sausage. Served with a slice of Feta.

Spetsofai is a classic recipe from the Greek table that originates from Pelion on mainland Greece. It is a simple, easy dish, perfect as a mezze or main course. However, fresh ingredients and the right sausage are crucial to its success.

Choosing the Right Sausage!

Our local sausage can be a little spicy (each butcher’s recipe is different)šŸ˜‰. It is made with up to three or four meats, a combination of lamb, sheep, beef, pork and sometimes goat. You may well be able to find something similar at your local delicatessen – an Italian sausage, maybe. If not, pick a good-quality rustic coarse sausage made with two or three meats.

Florina Pepper and Aubergine

The second most important ingredient in Spetsofai is the red pepper. Although often eaten in wintertime, the Florina pepper is in season now. It looks like a giant chilli pepper. šŸŒ¶šŸŒ¶šŸŒ¶ Sweet and full of flavour, they make the dish for me. Use three or four with maybe one dark green pepper. Florina Peppers are a Greek product hence the favouritism, but orange, yellow or even deep purple (black) peppers will be delicious. Here in Pelion, we also add the aubergine; it is optional but gives the tomato sauce a rich texture and taste.

Chilli Flakes or ‘Bukovo’

Last of all is the Bukovo – or crushed red pepper flakes. These give the dish a lovely round spice – super popular in Greek cuisine and come in various strengths, from sweet to spicy.

This Spetsofai recipe is very much my recipe and closely resembles many other Spetsofai recipes.šŸ˜ƒšŸ˜ƒ Rather like a bolognese, every kitchen has its own recipe. The ingredients are standard, but it is a dish that rests firmly on those ingredients’ quality. I would also stress it does take a little time. Like bolognese, the vegetables need time to soften and stew in the tomato sauce, allowing the sausage to infuse its flavour into the dish.

Pure comfort food, simple and delicious. Pair it with crispy potatoes, a green salad, a slice of feta and most definitely a side dish of tzatziki. Yum.

For more soups and stews, recipes click here

Spetsofai

Rustic sausages, red peppers, aubergine stewed in a rich tomato sauce with garlic, red wine and oregano
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Course: main course
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: comfort food, stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: The Wild Epicurean

Equipment

  • 1 Large heavy-based pan with a lid.

Ingredients

  • Ā½ kilo rustic sausages – ideally with a mixture of lamb, beef and pork – cut into 2-3cm rounds sausages can be spicy
  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large aubergine. chopped into cubes, salted, drained, rinsed and dried optional; this is very much a South Pelion version
  • 1 kilo fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 tin of peeled plum tomatoes
  • 4 red florina peppers, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 large green peppers, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced or grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sprig fresh oregano – chopped. Reserve a little to serve. or a teaspoon of dried oregano
  • Ā½ tsp cumin Ā½ tsp or a pinch – no more
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (bukovo)
  • small glass red wine optional
  • 1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 ml olive oil

Instructions

  • Saute the onions and peppers in a little olive oil until soft. Add the aubergine and soften. You may need to add more olive oil.
  • Add the sausages and seal on all sides. Add the garlic, spices and herbs.
  • If using, de-glaze the pan with the red wine, then add the tomatoes.
  • Let the sauce reduce a little, then add the tomato paste. Stir well and simmer over low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes. Don't let the sauce stick; if it looks a little dry, add a splash of water.
    If I have any to hand, I add a splash of chicken stock rather than water.
  • After 30 minutes, add a small tablespoon of red wine vinegar and generous grating of black pepper. Check for seasoning and add salt if necessary.
  • Serve with fresh bread, a slice of feta dressed with a little olive oil and a pinch of dried oregano. Decorate the spetsofai with fresh oregano.

Nutrition

Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 860mg | Potassium: 1675mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 6302IU | Vitamin C: 227mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 4mg

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Hey There!

Iā€™m Tessa, nice to meet you! I’ve been wanting to write down my thoughts on food and cooking since time began, always promising to share recipes. So here is the The Wild Epicurean.

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