It’s time to give the podium to them Hungarian recipes. I am so interested in other cultures and inevitably the cuisine of other nations that I have the tendency to neglect my own. One thing probably a lot of people don’t know about Hungary (yet) is that we have awesome food. We also have below-average living conditions and future prospects, fully-fledged political corruption and other nuisances, but one thing is certain. Food is excellent.
Allow me to bring you my childhood favourite…well, actually, also one of my adulthood favourites, poppy seed pasta. Oh, the glory! The finesse!
We are actually raised on poppy seed in Hungary: it’s an important cooking staple. It’s tasty but what’s even better: it’s good for you! The secret to consuming poppy seed is to grind it. Believe me. It will release all the hidden flavour. The other key to poppy seed is eating it raw. Cooking it reportedly neutralizes some of the good stuff inside. So why is poppy seed good for you? It contains B1, B6, B2 vitamins, niacin, calcium, zinc, potassium and magnesium (and other things I can’t even hope to translate into English). It’s evident that you need poppy seed in your life.
The best way to use it of course is in baking, but there is one more way: with pasta, which will leave your poppy seeds raw. Mmmmmm. Nothing can beat this.
Ingredients (for 2 persons)
200 g pasta (the best is Tagliatelle-style)
100 g ground poppy seed
5 tablespoons sugar (I prefer powdered sugar)
1-1,5 tablespoon unsalted butter
Secret ingredient: apricot jam to dollop on top (I can confirm that lemon curd works great too)
Cook your pasta in slightly salted boiling water. In the meantime mix poppy seed with powdered sugar. When the pasta is ready, drain it, put it back into the same pot, add and gently mix the butter in, add the poppy seed-sugar mixture, mix once more and serve immediately. You can add a little more butter if you prefer your pasta a bit moister. However, an even better option is to add a little jam on top. After thirty years of experience, I personally prefer apricot jam, but any jam will be wonderful.