Happy vegetarian Easter

Easter is my favourite holiday of the year. It reminds me of the happiest moments of my childhood. From the age of 9 to the age of 12 my family spent Easter on a lost beach in the Euboea island in Greece. There was nothing near by, no villages, no towns no mini markets there was just sea and sand and a tiny little river around which trees grew sleepily.

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It was the only moment of the year that we were free. Our parents just forgot about us, they let us play on the beach for hours and hours, remembering to call us back for the occasional extra layer of sunscreen. The sea was still cold so if we would swim we would become blueish. I remember going to explore the little river, always falling inside it and my mother being mad at me because she had never packed enough shoes and clothes in case we got wet.

I also remember Saturday nights for the Easter Liturgy. There was a little white church on the top of a hill. No priest would come in such a remote area so we would create our own Easter ceremony. The grown ups would turn on a radio with the Liturgy from the Metropolis of Athens and we would sing along. My father has a beautiful voice, not too low not too high just the perfect frequency. Many Cretans like my father have this trembling vibration in their voices. I have always found it soothing, it makes the tympanic membrane vibrate in the frequency of love.

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Christos Anesti is a psalm that I listen and sing every year wherever I am in the world. It is a reminder that life has won over death and that love can and will win over fear.

There are numerous exquisite recipes from all over the world celebrating the festivities of Easter. Here I am sharing a simple pasta recipe that would be suitable for vegetarians. You may celebrate this holiday with friends from other religions, cultures and origins. I hope this dish will help you make them feel included in the festivities and the universal message of Easter.

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 500 gr of handmade tagliatelle (they should have a rough surface, that would facilitate the absorption of the sauce)
  • 400 gr brown button mushrooms chopped in slices
  • spring onions finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • rosemary finely chopped
  • fresh oregano finely chopped
  • 2 chillies finely chopped
  • freshly grated black pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan/pecorino/kefalotiri cheese/ Gruyere cheese/kasseri Xanthis/Gryuere from Chania or Tripoli or any yellow salty pressed cheese you wish
  • salt
  • extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • sweet paprika

Instructions:

  • Turn on the heat to high. When the pan is hot add the olive oil and stir the mushrooms. Add the chopped garlic cloves
  • Turn the heat to medium and let the mushrooms give their juice. That would take 2-3 minutes.
  • Take the mushrooms out of the fire.
  • In a large pot boil water with a bit of added salt. Add the tagliatelle when the water is boiling.
  • Cook the tagliatelle 2 minutes less than indicated at the package instructions. Keep them on the side with a few tablespoons of the cooking water
  • Turn of the heat to medium and place a large pan on the stove. Add some olive oil.
  • Place the rosemary, chilli, oregano, chives, paprika and pepper in the warm olive oil   for a few seconds in order to transfer their aroma.
  • Add the cooked mushrooms.
  • Add the cooked tagliatelle and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese. It is ready to serve. Enjoy 🙂