Kokkino in Greece means red and kokkinisto is the way the food is cooked in a tomato sauce and becomes reddened. This is a traditional dish and can be made with lamb, chicken, rooster or game. Red or white wine may be added and spices vary depending on what you prefer but mostly cinnamon, cloves and pepper are used. Pork is also made kokkinisto with the addition of vegetables, such as pork with cauliflower or pork with taro. Vegetables which are cooked in tomato sauce such as cauliflower, potatoes, beans etc. are called giahni or ladera, instead of being called kokkinista.
Kokkinista are usually served with pasta, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes or rice. I found the perfect homemade Cretan pasta for this dish which is a tomato based rose petal shaped pasta.
The recipe “Kotopoulo Kokkinisto” which is a chicken stew, is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!
This lovely dish goes to Presto Pasta Nights, which I am hosting this week. Presto Pasta Nights is the brainchild of Ruth and is one of my favourite events and I have been submitting pasta dishes every since I started blogging. Pasta is so versatile that you can combine it with all your favourite ingredients and make a lovely dish without having to spend hours in the kitchen (well sometimes you do!!) but search your closets and find what kind of pasta you have there and in half an hour you can feed your family. So what are you waiting for, get creative and send me your pasta dish.
I am also submitting this recipe to Bee and Jai, of Jugalbandi, whose brainchild is Click and this month the click event theme is red. I think this dish can’t get more red: red meat, red wine, red pasta and red tomato sauce!!
Moschari Kokkinisto (Stewed Veal)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/2 – 2 hours
700 grams of veal
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 – 4 allspice berries
10 black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 can (500 grams of peeled whole tomatoes with juice)
1/2 cup of red dry wine
500 grams of rose petals pasta or other pasta
Wash meat and cut into 1 1/2 cm thick slices and pat dry.
Heat olive oil in sauteing pan and saute meat on both sides. Add onions and garlic and saute and add wine. Add all spices, salt, bay leaves and tomato, as well as 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the meat is tender and soft and the sauce is reduced and thickened.
In a separate sauce pan heat water and add salt and boil pasta for 12 minutes or according to package instructions.
Drain pasta and mix in with the sauce.
Serve with feta.