Spetzofai is probably my favorite winter dish in Greece. I have had it numerous times and the flavors are intense yet subtle. Many of the Spetzofai recipes I see online miss two crucial elements when preparing this local favorite from central Greece. The first is the addition of fried eggplant and the second is a roasting of the peppers to give a subtle smoky flavor (even better roasting them over a charcoal fire). This dish is really easy, so enjoy!
What you need:
- 6 sweet red peppers roasted with skins removed.
- 3 green peppers roasted with skins removed.
- 1-2 eggplants, skin peeled in strips. Cut eggplant into quarters and slice about 1/2 inch thick.
- 500g sausages. cut into about 1 inch pieces. I used sausages from the Mani (an area in Greece) flavored with orange and a hint of cumin. You can use pork or beef or half of each.
- 2-3 onions diced
- 6 tomatoes diced or 1 can of chopped crushed tomatoes.
- Olive oil
- Pinch of crushed chillies
- Pinch of sweet paprika.
- Turn your oven to broil and blacken the peppers.
- Place peppers in cold water and remove the skins. Cut into strips and set aside.
- Clean and cut eggplant as described above.
- Place about 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom of your frying pan and fry the eggplant until dark brown. Set aside on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Remove excess oil and save for the onions.
- Gently brown the sausages and set aside.
- Saute the onions in a little of the reserved oil.
- When the onions are translucent, add the tomatoes and reduce to a nice thick paste. Season with salt, pepper, chillies and paprika and set aside.
- Place the peppers, eggplants and sausages in the bottom of a roasting plan and cover with the tomato onion mixture.
- Place uncovered in an oven preheated to 200C or 400F and cook for about 1/2 an hour.
- Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread to mop up all the delightful juices.