Today we will travel together to Pelion, central Greece! On our trip there, we got the traditional recipe for greek sausages with peppers and tomato sauce called Spetsofai (or Spetzofai). It turned out so good we just had to share it with you. We hope by making this, however far you are, you feel like you are in a small village somewhere in Greece!
…Vassilis and I finally had our weekend free, so we quickly made plans for a getaway weekend from Athens. With the weather still being in our favor we decided to visit Pelion. Many consider Pelion to be one of the most beautiful mountains of Greece…and they are right! Only downside…it was a VERY long ride! We had to cover a distance of 350km from Athens to the village of Pinakates where we were staying. This adds up to 5 hours of driving!! Thankfully, we had good music, and we were together, which made it all worth it. So, if you ask me if I would do it again, then YES! Absolutely!
Because we only had 2 days, we had to plan everything ahead of time. Before leaving Athens, we had made a list of things we really wanted to do and things we wanted to see. Needless to mention that our top priority was to combine all this with our love for good food. That simplified everything.
It was my first time in Pelion mountain and I was captivated with the thick forest of oak and beech trees.
Up the winding road thriving orchards colored the way. Pelion is renowned for its apples. A variety named “firiki”, which is delicious, crisp and stores really well without refrigeration.
They also grow chestnut trees and this time of year their branches were full of nuts.
We had booked a beautiful little room in the village of Pinakates, which upon arriving at, we set off to explore.
The people there worked in different rhythms and this made us forget the bustling rhythms of the city.
Suddenly we found ourselves relaxed after so long.
That night, lying in bed, we contemplated on the idea of leaving Athens.
The next day found us in very high spirits. We set off to the village of Milies for an early breakfast.
An old grandma, not used to making breakfast for tourists (this time of year it’s mostly locals), offered to make us eggs with toast. We were more than happy to oblige. I have to say, that these were the best fried eggs I’ve ever had (sorry mum..). The yolk had the most beautiful orange color. The bread was freshly baked by her earlier that morning.
You couldn’t have asked for more. Pure perfection!
With our stomach full, we set off to walk the old railway tracks of the Pelion train.
Its tracks are one of the narrowest in the world (60cm) and connect Milies village to Ano Lechonia.
Driving back to “our” home late that evening, we stopped at a tavern on the side of the road.
Packed with locals, it looked very inviting. We order Spetsofai, french fries and red wine. Spetsofai is a traditional dish, made up of really good quality sausages, stewed with green and red peppers, mild and hot. We instantly fell in love! We had to have the recipe, so we asked the waiter (who happened to be the owner). Five minutes later, his wife came out the kitchen wearing her apron and sat down with us. She gave us the recipe!! As she was getting up to leave, she turned around and said “the finest sausage makes all the difference”. We knew exactly what she meant.
We were determined when we returned to Athens to find really GOOD sausages.
Our greek sausage recipe
..and this is why I’m really excited about this post!
Our Spetsofai couldn’t have turned out better.
It takes me back to that night in that little tavern on the side of the road.
From now on, every single bite is a memory…
Next time we go to Pelion we will try to find out how to make your own sausages at home.
- 2 really good pork sausages (approximately 500gr.), cut in medium slices
- 3 sweet red peppers (approximately 220gr.), cut in medium slices
- 3 green bell peppers (approximately 250gr.), cut in medium slices
- ½ chili pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 ripe tomatoes (approximately 440gr.), pureed
- 1tsp. tomato paste
- A pinch of sugar
Place a big non-stick frying pan on high heat.
Add the sausages and sauté them until nicely browned on all sides, for about 4-5 minutes.
You don’t have to add olive oil at all, because sausages will be cooked in their own fat.
Remove them with a slotted spoon and keep them aside in a separate plate.
Add the onion, the garlic and all kinds of peppers into the frying pan.
Sauté vegetables, over high heat, for 4-5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
When the vegetables start to tenderize, add the sausages into the pan again.
Deglaze with the white wine and wait for 1-2 minutes until it evaporates.
Add the pureed tomatoes, the tomato paste and a pinch of sugar.
Sprinkle some salt and stir carefully.
Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue simmering for another 20 minutes.
By that time, vegetables should be tender but crispy and sauce nicely thickened.
Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper and taste.
Season with salt according to your preference.
Serve at once.