Semolina noodles (Grízes/Darás tészta)

Yet another unfancy but inventive sweet noodle dish, the grízes tészta is generously layered with toasted and soaked semolina. What helps win over the hearts of people about this one is the generous dollop of apricot jam and powdered sugar toppings.

Ingredients

Yield: 4-5 servings; Total time: 20 minutes

  • 350 grams (¾ pound) dried pasta, ideally a long and thin variety called metélt to which tagliolini or tagliatelle come closest

  • 225 grams (1 ¼ cups) semolina

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1 ½ cup hot water

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Runny apricot or other kind of fruit jam

  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Directions

  • Step 1: In a medium pot, bring 2 liters (2.1 quarts) salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain pasta, then add butter and mix in so that pasta becomes slippery on all sides.

  • Step 2: In the meantime, heat the oil in a large pan or skillet on medium-high and add semolina. Roast, stirring continuously, until semolina turns light-brown but doesn’t burn, about 15 minutes. Stir in salt and mix well. Then turn off heat, add the hot water, and mix again. With the lid on, let the semolina absorb the water and soften, about 2 minutes. 

  • Step 3: Spoon the pasta into the pan and mix well so that pasta is thoroughly coated in semolina. Transfer the pasta onto serving plates. Top each plate with a couple of tablespoons of runny apricot jam and a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar.

Words of advice

As with other Hungarian sweet pasta dishes, use a generous amount of the toppings (semolina, fruit jam, powdered sugar) for the full effect.

I created these recipes with the help of nearly a dozen historical Hungarian cookbooks, adjusting ingredients, cooking times, and methods to reflect my own preferences and tastes of the current day.