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Kritharoto with santorini cherry tomatoes, olives and capers
Kritharaki in Greece is the little pasta that is known abroad as orzo and is cooked mostly with meat or chicken in a red thick sauce in the oven, ending as a "giouvetsi".
We opted here to serve it as a main vegetarian course and use it like the Italians use the rizotto, slowly cooked in wine and tomato juice and finished with cherry tomatoes, olives and capers.
1 packet of kritharaki
1 cup of sliced Kalamata olives, drained
1 cup of capers, drained
1 tbsp of oregano
1 can of Santo cherry tomatoes, separated in its juice and tomatoes.
2 tsp salt
1 tsp boukovo (chilli flakes)
1 tsp of dried parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 jar of caper leaves
1 lt. boiling hot water
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed (optional)
1 cup of dry white wine
1 cup of tasty grated cheese, such as greek kefalograviera or italian parmesan
In a deep and wide pan (or wok) and in high heat, add 1/4 cup olive oil, the onion and the garlic and the pasta and stir vigorously for 5 minutes.
Lower the heat and add the wine and stir until wine has evaporated.
Start pouring into the pasta the hot water alternating with the juice of the tomato can.
Season and add the oregano.
Stir each time you add water or tomato juice so that all liquid evaporates and softens the pasta.
About half way through the cooking process, add the cherry tomatoes and stir softly so they keep their shape. (You may want to saute the cherry tomatoes in a separate pan for a minute or two with some olive oil. if you do that, you could add the sauteed cherry tomatoes at the end giving the plate a more elegant look).
Just before the pasta is cooked through add the olives, the capers (saving some for garnishing your serving plate), the cheese, the salt and the rest of the olive oil. Mix well.
Empty the kritharoto in a serving platter and decorate with remaining olives, capers, some caper leaves and some drizzled olive oil.