Who doesn’t love a hearty, comforting pasta dish on a cold winter’s night? In this post, Food-Easy-Recipes.Com‘ll be sharing my recipe for strapatsada – a traditional Greek baked pasta dish that is the ultimate soul food.
Strapatsada (stra-pa-TSA-dah) is a creamy, cheesy pasta bake made with macaroni, eggs, feta cheese, tomatoes, and various vegetables. It’s a hug in a bowl – warm, soft, and soothing. As someone who loves rich, indulgent foods, strapatsada really hits the spot for me.
In this post, you’ll learn:
- The history behind this traditional Greek pasta bake
- How to make an easy strapatsada recipe from scratch
- Cooking tips to get the perfect creamy texture
- Serving suggestions and topping ideas
- FAQs on making substitutions or adjustments
I’ve been enjoying strapatsada since my trip to Greece a few years ago and now it’s become my go-to comfort food. I can’t wait to share this recipe so you can enjoy this cheesy, saucy pasta dish too! It’s great for feeding a crowd or just curling up on the couch with a big bowlful.
So let’s get cooking! Here’s how to make strapatsada…
- 500 g ripe tomatoes
- 2 fresh green peppers
- 4 eggs
- 5-6 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. chopped basil
- 1 tsp. sugar
- black pepper
- Peel and chop tomatoes. Put them in a large frying pan and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Beat the eggs with a fork and put aside.
- Chop the pepper. When half of the liquid evaporates from the tomatoes add chopped pepper, salt, black pepper and sugar. Stir and let them cook gently for 5 minutes.
- When all of the liquid evaporates, pour the olive oil and the beaten eggs evenly all over the tomatoes, while stirring gently.
- Cook slowly for a few minutes until the eggs are cooked but not too solid.
- Serving instructions: Serve with roasted slices of bread
- Bake the pasta dish covered for the first 30 minutes. This allows the eggs and cheese to melt into a creamy sauce.
- Stir the strapatsada halfway through baking to distribute the sauce evenly among the pasta.
- If it seems dry, add a splash of milk or cream to achieve the perfect creamy texture.
- Use a shallow casserole dish to maximize the surface area and prevent a watery bottom layer.
The History Behind This Traditional Greek Pasta Bake
Strapatsada has its origins in the northern regions of Greece, where winters can get quite harsh. The dish was created as a hearty, budget-friendly meal that could feed families during the colder months when fresh produce was limited.
Its name comes from the Greek words “strapatsa” meaning scrambled, and “ada” meaning food. This is a reference to the scrambled egg topping that is so iconic to strapatsada.
This cheesy baked pasta dish became a staple in many Greek households. Every family would have their own variation with different veggies or herbs. Some versions are more soupy, while others are drier and slice into wedges.
Over time, strapatsada made its way from home kitchens into local tavernas as a classic comfort food. It’s still a menu staple today in northern Greek restaurants, often listed as “makaronada” which simply means “pasta dish”.
So while modern recipes vary, the core ingredients remain eggs, pasta, tomatoes and feta – keeping strapatsada a hearty, affordable, and nostalgic food for Greeks. Its warming qualities make it perfect for enjoying on a cold day while reminiscing about family traditions.
Serving Suggestions and Toppings
- Allow strapatsada to rest for 10 minutes before serving so the sauce sets up.
- Garnish with extra crumbled feta and freshly chopped parsley.
- For a protein boost, top with browned sausage chunks or ground meat.
- For texture, add toasted breadcrumbs, roasted veggies like eggplant or zucchini, or caramelized onions.
- Brighten up the flavor with a squeeze of lemon juice or a Kalamata olive garnish.
- Serve strapatsada with a Greek salad and pita bread for a tasty and balanced meal.
Q: Can I substitute different pasta shapes or cheeses? A: Yes! Rigatoni or penne can be used instead of macaroni. Just adjust cooking time. For cheese, use any soft brined cheese like goat cheese, ricotta or cottage cheese.
Q: What if I don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand? A: Canned diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes work perfectly fine. Just drain off excess liquid from canned tomatoes before adding.
Q: Can I make strapatsada vegetarian? A: Definitely! Simply omit the sausage or ground meat topping. The cheese and eggs still make it protein-packed.
Q: What type of dish should I cook strapatsada in? A: A shallow casserole or baking dish works best so all ingredients cook evenly. You can also use an oven-safe skillet or deep pie dish.
Satisfy Your Soul with Strapatsada I hope this post has inspired you to cook up some strapatsada comfort food soon. This cheesy Greek pasta bake is the ultimate hearty meal that’s sure to warm you up on a chilly night.
With its simple ingredient list that allows for easy substitutions, customizable add-ins, and variation tips, you can easily adapt this recipe to suit your taste. Bake up a batch on the weekend to enjoy all week long. Leftover strapatsada is just as tasty reheated later.
The next time you need some comfort food to feed your soul, whip up my easy strapatsada recipe. This creamy, saucy pasta dish reminds me of my travels in Greece and always feels like a big, soft hug. I hope it brings your family together around the table to enjoy its nostalgic, homemade flavors too.