The mirmitzeli, a traditional recipe of Paros, is a kind of handmade pasta in a shape similar to that of its more famous counterpart, orzo pasta. It is shaped by hand from dough and is then dried naturally on sheets and more rarely in the oven. It is consumed straight away, or, if it has dried well, it can be stored in cotton bags and keep for up to five months. For this reason, they prefer to make it in the summer, so that it dries better.
In the past, housewives used to make mirmitzeli on Sundays, when they had no other chores around the house. It was a basic accompaniment for snails, meat, octopus or squid.
Ms Ioanna Peraki remembers: “When fasting, we prepared its without eggs and had it with vegetables. It was our easy everyday meal, but it also accompanied festive Sunday dishes. It was the easy solution for any occasions”.
Traditional recipe for mirmitzeli
- 1 kilo of wheat flour
- one egg
Mix the ingredients and make dough. Place a sieve for flour upside down on the table. We take on our left hand a small piece of dough and with your index finger and thumb, turn the dough and make the size of orzo pasta, then cut it with your right hand and put it on the sieve to dry in order to be ready for cooking.
Mirmitzeli with snails
Preparation of the snails:
Wash them and remove the membrane. It will need 2-3 washes. Boil water with plenty of salt, and add the snails for some time. Drain the snails and keep the water. Once cool, with a sharp knife, remove the back part of the shell. Wash well in the water already kept.
Preparation of the dish:
- 1 onion
- 1 fresh tomato
- tomato puree
- 2 bay leaves
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Pour oil in a pan, add 1 grated onion and the snails. Add 1 fresh tomato grated and some tomato puree, 2 bay leaves, salt and pepper and let it boil. Then put mirmitzeli (for 1 kilo snails, add half a kilo mirmitzeli). Continue boiling and then reduce the heat. It’s ready when mirmitzeli becomes soft.
Archives of the Association “Routes in Marpissa”.
Darioti, N., Tsichlaki, T. and Androulidakis, A.N. (2016) Του Άνεμου και της Αρμύρας(Of wind and salt). Syros: Cyclades Development and Promotion Company.
Special thanks to Mrs Ioanna Peraki for the information and her valuable assistance.