Greek traditional pasta

Hylopites is a typical, traditionally homemade kind of pasta that brings back rustic memories of the Greek province and of big, family dinners in the village.

Hylopites, the Greek noodles are made of flour (semolina), eggs, milk and salt. To prepare the noodles, dough is opened into a thin sheet (phyllo) and then cut in narrow stripes, although in some areas, hylopites are cut in small rectangles. The dough is afterwards left to dry out in a clean and droughty environment.

kotop_xylopitesChicken wiht hylopites in a gastra (clay pot), perfection by my friend Stella!

They can be cooked in various ways, but they taste awesomely either plainly served with grated myzithra and tomato sauce, or as a soup, as a side dish to kokinisto, pot roasted chicken and more delicious Greek dishes.
The origin of pasta is a complex story featuring many myths and contradictions, starting with Greek mythology where there is a reference that the ingenious god Hephaestus had created a device that made “strings of dough.”
In addition, the first kind of pasta is considered to have made its debut in the kitchens of Ancient Greeks and it was a square, flat sheet of dough called “lasanon” (lasagna anyone?). The word “lasanon” has survived until today in the Greek culinary language as a kind of flat bread called “lagana”, a traditional recipe mainly prepared on Clean Monday.
“Lasanon” however was not boiled but baked on a hot surface like a stone or an oven. Then “lasanon” became known to the Romans when they conquered Greece and through them the recipe was disseminated to all the people of the Mediterranean basin.

MLGFB Tip: How to make veal Kokinisto (slow braised) with hylopites in a “gastra” (clay pot)

Ingredients: 1,2 kg of veal (shoulder) cut into cubes, 1 big onion finely chopped, 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 1 glass of red wine, 1 bunch of fresh marjoram, 2 small red chili peppers, 1 can (500 grams of peeled whole tomatoes with juice) or 1 kilo fresh, grated tomatoes, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 500 g. hylopites


  • Heat the oil in a deep skillet or saucepan and sauté the onion for 3 minutes, until softened. Once it gets transparent add the garlic and the meat
  • Brown the pieces of the veal on one side, without stirring and then brown them on the other side. Try not to overcrowd the bottom of the pan. Browning the veal is very important, as it helps the meat remain juicy and tender
  • Pour in the red wine, add the marjoram, turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If necessary add a little wine to restore moisture
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the peppers and salt according to preference. Cover with the lid and cook at a low heat, for about half an hour, until the meat is almost ready
  • At the same time, preheat the oven at 180 degrees.
  • After about 15 minutes, boil some water in a saucepan and cook the hylopites for 2 minutes, until barely soften
  • Transfer the hylopites in the gastra or a clay baking dish and pour the meat with the sauce.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, with a covered lid for the first 10.

Sprinkle with grated myzithra or kefalotyri cheese for extra pleasure!

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