Pasta à la macédonienne
Sirenje is a basic staple in any Macedonian (and Balkan) kitchen. No matter how hard I try to minimize buying food or ingredients that have animal origin, any time I visit my parents in Macedonia, I come back with a good half kilo of sirenje, a variety that is a mix from cow and goat milk. This recipe can work with many cheeses, inclusing mozza, if you like it stretchy, or haloumi, if you do not like your cheese to melt. Baking the sirenje, especially with a drizzle of oil, makes it softer.
So, for 2 servings you will need:
- 250 grams pasta
- 250 grams cherry tomatoes
- 50 grams sirenje
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- black pepper to taste
- 2-3 basil leaves
- handful pine nuts (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C. In the meantime, cook the pasta. On the side, chop the tomatoes into halves. Cut the sirenje roughly into small pieces (I actually just use my hands to crush it). Put it all in a baking pan, together with the olive oil, and mix. Add the pepper (you don’t need to add any salt in this recipe, as the sirenje is already salted) and bake the mix in the oven for about 20 minutes. It’s done when the tomatoes and sirenje are soft (if the cheese pieces were larger, they will brown a bit). Mix well with the pasta and top with chopped basil leaves and/or some toasted pine nuts.
Et voilà! It’s really very simple but tasty. And, you know what? For a gluten-free option, you can easily use this sauce with rice or the cereals you want (check out the photo below )! Enjoy!