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Is pasta permitted as a fast dish?


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#1 Sieglinde McGinnis

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 11:49 PM

If this is covered in a previous thread or post please direct me thereto.....I am wondering whether pasta, since it contains eggs, is allowed on strict fast days. If one follows the fasting guidelines on this link
http://www.abbamoses.com/fasting.html
it would seem to be not, but I have seen many fast recipes that include noodles/pasta of various kinds and am, understandably I think, confused.

#2 Nina

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 12:50 AM

Dear Sieglinde,

Pasta made with 100% durum semolina is permitted, since it is wheat-based and the only ingredient in. I buy it here mainly at ethnic stores (mostly Greek since they have a brand that makes fasting pasta, or risoni). But I have seen it at Whole Foods too.

#3 Olga

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 02:41 AM

Many of the Asian-style noodles (fresh or dried) are also perfectly lenten, whether rice or wheat-based. Only a few of the wheaten noodles may contain egg, but just check on the packaging to make sure.

#4 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 07:42 AM

Yes, as Olga and Nina have said - check the labels. Some pasta is made with eggs, and some with yoghurt and eggs.
Plain pasta is OK but again check the lables because companies hide lots of goodies in their products nowadays.

Effice

#5 Nina

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 05:43 PM

Yes dear Effie. The risoni pasta is the only thing permitted for some patients in Italy after they have surgery, or when they are ill with certain illnesses - my friend who is a physician from there told me.

#6 Sieglinde McGinnis

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:15 PM

Many thanks to all who answered. I can see that I shall be paying much closer attention to labels in the upcoming weeks than I do now (Great Lent begins for me on Monday).

#7 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:20 PM

Nina, I didn't know what risoni pasta was but I googled images. It looks like what we call kritharaki. Is that it?

No, I googled "kritharaki" and apparently it's called orzo in English. First time I have ever heard of this name.

Effie

#8 Nina

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:41 PM

Nina, I didn't know what risoni pasta was but I googled images. It looks like what we call kritharaki. Is that it?

No, I googled "kritharaki" and apparently it's called orzo in English. First time I have ever heard of this name.

Effie


Yes it is the kritharaki :).

Yes they call it orzo here and at Lenten recipes thread I think I mentioned orzo (or risoni I am not sure) but it is the same thing and the Misko brand I buy here translates it also on the package as risoni. I think that both words are Italian.

#9 Alice

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 02:27 PM

Nina, I didn't know what risoni pasta was but I googled images. It looks like what we call kritharaki. Is that it?

No, I googled "kritharaki" and apparently it's called orzo in English. First time I have ever heard of this name.

Effie


Kritharaki is called 'orzo' in English/Italian, but no other brands expand and absorb as much liquid as our Greek brands do! One doesn't even have to drain kritharaki if one allows it to boil long enough!

My husband and I like to make his mother's (memory eternal) fasting recipe of orzo with chick peas. It is very satisfying and tasty, and in non fasting times, it is delicious with grated cheese on top.

For a tasty topping for pasta recipes which are for the fast, I have adopted a Sicilian tradition of toasted breadcrumbs. They use it on pasta recipes that contain seafood instead of grated cheese. It was called the 'poor man's parmesan'.

In Christ,
Alice

#10 Nina

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:40 PM

Kritharaki is called 'orzo' in English/Italian, but no other brands expand and absorb as much liquid as our Greek brands do! One doesn't even have to drain kritharaki if one allows it to boil long enough!
In Christ,
Alice


Actually we are not supposed to drain since it is broth of semolina; and also some make a sauce (tomatoes, onion, garlic and sometimes spices/herbs) prior to adding the orzo in. A couple of Italian physicians that I know said that orzo is helpful to the digestive system.
I agree with you that from all the orzos (I have cooked here and in Italy), the Greek brand is better... I do not know why though ~ ???!!!

#11 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 07:47 AM

Kritharaki is called 'orzo' in English/Italian, but no other brands expand and absorb as much liquid as our Greek brands do! One doesn't even have to drain kritharaki if one allows it to boil long enough!

My husband and I like to make his mother's (memory eternal) fasting recipe of orzo with chick peas. It is very satisfying and tasty, and in non fasting times, it is delicious with grated cheese on top.

For a tasty topping for pasta recipes which are for the fast, I have adopted a Sicilian tradition of toasted breadcrumbs. They use it on pasta recipes that contain seafood instead of grated cheese. It was called the 'poor man's parmesan'.

In Christ,
Alice


That's a good tip Alice. Thanks. Do you spinkle the crumbs on the top and then put the dish in the oven to roast them?
For some reason it has become very difficult to get parmesan cheese here lately. They have these "parmesan like" shredded cheeses but they aren't the real thing. I read that Metsovo - which is famous for its cheeses - has a parmesan cheese that is considered 2nd in quality after the Italian Parmesan cheese. I haven't tried it though. When you shop in Metsovo for cheese, you have to know when to go because various cheeses are only available at different times of the year.

Effie

#12 Simon

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:57 AM

That's a good tip Alice. Thanks. Do you spinkle the crumbs on the top and then put the dish in the oven to roast them?
For some reason it has become very difficult to get parmesan cheese here lately. They have these "parmesan like" shredded cheeses but they aren't the real thing. I read that Metsovo - which is famous for its cheeses - has a parmesan cheese that is considered 2nd in quality after the Italian Parmesan cheese. I haven't tried it though. When you shop in Metsovo for cheese, you have to know when to go because various cheeses are only available at different times of the year.

Effie


Dear Effie, why not make a pilgrimage to Bari to venerate St. Nicholas - Kozani to Igoumenitsa is not so far - and buy some real Parmesan! I come to Greece (Thessaloniki) in July, but I don't arrive directly from Italy, so I can't bring you any, I'm afraid. Don't buy the grated stuff, buy a slab of the real thing!

Simon

#13 Nina

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:06 PM

Don't buy the grated stuff, buy a slab of the real thing!

Simon


True! It is a "sin" to buy grated Parmigiano!

Effie, in addition to the wonderful advise Simon gave you to plan a trip to Bari for venerating St. Nicholas (ah, I love him so!), you maybe can consider going Corfu (venerate Saint Spyridon - ah, I love him so!) and then Corfu-Bari and then you can drive (you can take your car in the ferry) Bari-Amalfi and venerate Saint Andreas' (although you have Saint Andreas' part of the skull in Patras). From Bari to Amalfi you can drive through Meteora where monasticism thrived and there are many caves of ascetics (pre-Schism) and there are churches with Byzantine iconography and a church called St. Nicholas dei Greci (St. Nicholas of the Greeks). There Mel Gibson filmed the movie the Passion of the Christ, because it resembles Jerusalem. It will be such a treat for you and your husband now in spring after Easter if you can. Beautiful season and holy, and marvelous places and verdant and colorful nature and amazing people. Oh!

#14 Alice

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 11:51 PM

That's a good tip Alice. Thanks. Do you spinkle the crumbs on the top and then put the dish in the oven to roast them?
For some reason it has become very difficult to get parmesan cheese here lately. They have these "parmesan like" shredded cheeses but they aren't the real thing. I read that Metsovo - which is famous for its cheeses - has a parmesan cheese that is considered 2nd in quality after the Italian Parmesan cheese. I haven't tried it though. When you shop in Metsovo for cheese, you have to know when to go because various cheeses are only available at different times of the year.

Effie


Dear Effie,

Lightly grease a baking pan with olive oil (here in the U.S. I spray the pan and the breadcrumbs w/olive oil spray, but I have not been able to find such a thing in Athens), and spread the breadcrumbs (which you may want to spice up a little w/garlic, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, etc.) out on it...Broil them for a couple of minutes until they turn toasty brown. Then put them in a serving cup with a spoon, as you would grated cheese, and sprinkle on your lenten pasta dish. They add flavour and crunch.

I am wondering why it is hard to find Reggiano Parmesan in Greece, when it is so close to Italy! I have also tasted inferior 'parmesan' cheese which I bought in Athens. My husband and I both agreed that maybe we just better stick with grated kefalotiri for pasta. *wink* :)

In Christ,
Alice

#15 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 06:12 AM

re Kefalotiri : Alice, Kefalotiri is a really good cheese depending on where it is made but it lacks that special zingy flavour that Parmesan has. And...mmmm... I'm going to try your breadcrumb tip. Why, during Lent do our minds betray us with thoughts of dishes we shouldn't be thinking about?

I just googled Bari and read a little about it. Old folks here have the Institution for the Support of Elder People (KAPI) offering medical, psychological and social support to individuals over sixty years of age. But more importantly, this service also offers various other goodies : trips all over Greece and to other countries, theatre tickets, etc. You pay only a tiny amount of the price involved. The difficulty is that you have to sign up but my husband refuses to do so because, in his own words, "he's not old enough for the KAPI yet"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I assume he will be old enough at 90. All the above means that we are living on one pension at the moment and need to budget.

So, travelling to Italy to buy parmesan cheese is not viable.......... (smile).

To be serious though, Bari sounds like a wonderful place to visit, especially since St. Nicholas is the patron saint of my city. What a wonderful idea. I just cannot believe how ignorant I am of so many things and can only thank all those on this forum who provide so much information for us all.

re : Corfu and St. Spiridon

We celebrated Easter one year in Kerkyra (Corfu). St. Spiridon's remains are in a church in Kerkyra (capital). I should mention that both the island and the capital have the same name. I enjoyed visiting this island, especially since one of my favourite books is My Family and other animals by Gerald Durrell. I have all his books (except the one about Australia...) and his beautiful description of life on this island when he was a child is unforgettable. Don't visit in spring though, because the climate is very damp.

Effie

#16 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 06:22 AM

Dear Effie, why not make a pilgrimage to Bari to venerate St. Nicholas - Kozani to Igoumenitsa is not so far - and buy some real Parmesan! I come to Greece (Thessaloniki) in July, but I don't arrive directly from Italy, so I can't bring you any, I'm afraid. Don't buy the grated stuff, buy a slab of the real thing!

Simon


Simon, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker is the patron saint of Kozani. What a wonderful idea, thank you. Italy is so close and we have never been. I have always considered the Italians to be the world's most beautiful people and this country with its history is definitely a place that needs to be explored.

re parmesan : When I could find the "grated stuff" that's what I would buy but I can't find even that now. I know, a
connoisseur of good cheeses, I am definitely not. We're going to Thessaloniki tomorrow and I might find some there (wrap it up tightly and hide it in the back of the fridge until the Ressurection).

Effie

#17 Nina

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:57 PM

Don't visit in spring though, because the climate is very damp.

Effie


Effie, late spring like May -I should have said-, but April is not bad either. True that there is rain but the next day it is beautiful strong sunshine and there is so much clarity in the nature and the flowers are blooming, grass is verdant and all colors are vibrant. Also if you go to Italy there are many poppies all over during spring, which is one of the beauties there.




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