Launching our column with foods, we thought to start by listing the beloved Smyrna sutzukakia! The recipe has roots in Asia Minor. Their name comes from the turkish word sucuk, sausage, while the suffix -aki means “small”. Greek creativity, however, led to a variation of the recipe, where instead of enclosing the minced meat in intestinal tissue to become a sausage, they simply formed it into small oblong meatballs, with the characteristic spice of cumin, ending with a thick, fragrant sauce.
In Smyrna, sutzukakia were never called Smyrneika, nor soutzoukakia, but kioftedes (meatballs). Food arrived in Greece from the uprooted refugees of Asia Minor and Constantinople.
For the sutzukaki:
- Soak the bread in the wine.
- In a bowl, mix the minced meat, cumin, garlic and the soaked bread that we have drained.
- Knead well and add the rest of the wine from the bread to make the sutzukakia fluffy
- Shape the sutzukakia, dust them with flour and fry them in sunflower oil or olive oil in a small amount just to protect them (they should not be fried too much, so that they do not tighten, but remain fluffy).
For the tomato sauce:
- Put the olive oil in a saucepan. When heated, add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion is well wilted and then add the paste.
- Deglaze with the wine.
- Add the hot water and then the canned tomatoes. Mix well.
- When it boils, put the sutzukaki inside.
- Put the pot on a low heat and simmer the sutzukaki for 25 minutes.
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