5th July 2015 – Simple food for complex times…


Spetsofai 1

You will have to excuse me for having been a bit quiet of late. To be honest, I have been uncomfortable prattling on about lovely Greek food when the country is going through such a difficult time. I have really felt that it would be totally frivolous and flippant.

I am not going to go into all the ins and outs of the crisis – this isn’t the place for all that. All I want to say is that Greece is my second home. It has been part of my life for some forty years or so. My experience of the country is not just that of a tourist going on holiday and falling in love with the magic of the place – though that particular spell has been cast on me as well. My love of the country comes from being part of a Greek family, from having Greek friends and having experienced everyday life there. For me, Greece is a real place, with real people and real problems – not just a holiday destination. I hope with all my heart that this current crisis ends soon.

We received a message from a friend yesterday, anxious as to the outcome of the referendum. At the end, wanting I suppose to add a note of normality, he wrote, ‘…Cooking gíros and souvlaki…’

My reply, in the same vein ‘…Cooking spanakopitta and spetsofaï…’.

You already have the recipe for spinach pie, the one for spetsofaï  – the taverna-classic spicy, sausage stew, is here.


Spetsofai 2


1 large red onion, cut into chunks

1 clove of garlic, crushed

3 red peppers, preferably ‘Romano’, cut into chunks

3 green peppers, preferably the thin skinned ones, cut into cunks

250 – 300 gm chorizo (or similar cured sausage), cut into large chunks

1 tab tomato pureé, dissolved in 200ml water

2 tabs olive oil


Black pepper

3 allspice berries


Heat the olive oil in a casserole pan, add the onions and cook them until they start to brown.

Add the garlic and cook a little, making sure it doesn’t burn.

Add the chunks of chorizo, or sausage, and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Stirring all the time.

When the sausage is almost cooked and has released its fat, add the chunks of red and green pepper.

Cook for a further few minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the diluted tomato pureé, a little salt and pepper – remember that the sausage will add salt and spiciness  anyway. Add the allspice berries.

Reduce the heat, cover and allow to simmer for about 20-30  minutes, until the peppers are just soft and the sauce has thickened.


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