According to Diane Kochilas, author of The Glorious Foods of Greece, from whom I adapted this recipe, you can find this dish, Makarounes Tis Kassou, in many of the Dodecanese Islands. She says it's one of the best and easiest dishes in Greek cooking--I don't know if that's true, but I know this is delicious--sweet onions, tart yogurt, lovely texture. The key is the right yogurt--use Greek yogurt if possible, sheep's milk yogurt is the best, or use plain yogurt that you sit in a sieve and drain until it becomes lovely and thick. The only thing missing from this dish is a bit of color and I have found that adding some fresh Greek oregano or some fresh thyme does wonders both in terms of taste and presentation.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 onions, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
- 1 lb fettuccine, preferably fresh
- 2 cups yogurt, sheep's milk
- 1 cup kefalotyri, coarsely grated (or substitute 1/2 cup coarsely grated gruyere and a 1/2 cup coarsely grated reggiano)
- 1⁄4 cup oregano (Greek or fresh)
- 1⁄4 cup thyme, fresh
- In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium high heat.
- Add the sliced onions and stir to coat with the butter.
- Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook the onions, stirring occasionally (don't let them stick) for about 45 minutes or until they are really brown and soft.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta to desired doneness.
- Mix the yogurt with 1/2 cup of the pasta water and mix well.
- Add the yogurt mixture to the onions and stir in until the onions are evenly coated with the yogurt mixture.
- Add the drained pasta and about half the cheese and toss.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the rest of the cheese and the herbs.