Spetzofai (sausage and peppers) is a common enough dish but one I don't think I can easily get tired of. It's definitely a rustic dish and one a little less visually appealing than a food blogger might like, but when done right it can be unbelievably flavorful.
I came across this recipe on the Greek Web site Kathimerini and thought it was a great twist to the traditional Spetzofai. Kataifi is typically used in Greek desserts but there are so many savory applications it can be used towards as well (see these Shrimp Wrapped in Kataifi). So, when some friends came by for an impromptu Friday night dinner a couple of weeks ago, I gave this Spetzofai over Kataifi a shot ... and made just a few minor changes along the way.
Since Easter, I feel like we've been on a meat-eating spree and being that summer is here (I can't believe it's already Memorial Day weekend in the United States) it's time to tighten the reins. As such, I used some turkey sausage in this dish and although a much leaner and lighter version, I wasn't disappointed with the results. Saute the sausage with tons of onions, vibrant peppers and juicy tomatoes; layer it on top of some Kataifi (shredded Greek phyllo); top with some cheese and bake until heated through. You really can't go wrong.
Spetzofai se Kantaifi -- Sausage and Peppers over Kataifi
(Adapted from a recipe on Kathimerini.gr)
1/2 pound Kataifi (thawed)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 pounds turkey sausage, sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large red peppers, sliced
2 large green peppers, sliced
2 medium/large tomatoes, diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
6 ounces graviera (gruyere), cubed
Heat oil in a large skillet; add the sausage and the onions and saute until the sausage is browned. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the peppers and stir well. Pour in the diced tomatoes; cover the skillet and cook over low-medium heat for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking dish and layer the bottom of the dish with kataifi (pulling the kataifi apart with your fingers as you go). Drizzle the kataifi with a little olive oil; top with the sausage mixture and add the cubed cheese on top. Bake until the kataifi is golden in color.