When this recipe was republished in the New York Times a few years ago, Jessica and I cut it out and sent our brother to the supermarket right away to buy those eight onions so we could make it for dinner that night. “Eight onions!?!” Marc said? Yes, eight onions. We sliced them by hand that time, but now I have a food processor and discovered the slicing blade, so it was easier this time.
A while back, Stephanie posted about kelsonnes, a traditional Syrian stuffed pasta dish. While many people use pre-made dough, making it from scratch is not so hard. It’s pasta that you can make without a pasta maker, so it’s totally worth it. The stuffed pasta is so giant that you get a ton of cheese, which is amazing. We usually eat these with egg noodles baked with butter. The buttery noodles get nice and crispy, mmm.
The recipe said that it yields 60 kelsonnes. I made 50. It really depends on the thickness of the dough. And no, I don’t serve/eat all of them at once. I usually make about 4 per person (of course we serve this alongside other traditional Syrian foods) and freeze the rest for an easy dinner later in the week.
I made individual bowls of noodles and kelsonnes here. You really don’t have to do that, but I like to take advantage of my oven proof bowls, so I do. If doing it this way, reduce the oven time and watch them closely. You don’t to burn the noodles too much!
Kelsonnes, adapted from the red Deal Delights cookbook:
For the dough:
- 5 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- Pinch of salt
- About 2 cups water
For the filling (I cut the original recipe in half for you – otherwise there is WAY too much leftover cheese):
- 1 pound meunster cheese, grated finely (I use the grating disc in my food processor), about 5 cups
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1. Make the dough: combine flour, eggs, and salt. Add the water in a slow stream and mix together until you get a soft dough.
2. Combine filling ingredients, set aside.
3. Split the dough in half and roll out each half of the dough on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness.
4. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture every 3 or so inches on half the dough (make sure you have enough room to close the dough between – see picture).
5. Cover the mounds with the other half of the dough.
6. Cut out the rounds with a round cutter (about 2 1/2 inch).
7. Repeat with remaining dough.
To assemble the dish:
For 4 people you will need:
- 1 pound bag egg noodles
- 12-20 kelsonnes, depending on how much your eaters like them
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Some salt
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
3. When boiling, add the kelsonnes. Boil for 5 minutes before adding the pasta.
4. Boil according to the time written on the package. Drain.
5. Combine butter, a pinch of salt, noodles and kelsonnes in a large casserole. Mix until the butter melts.
6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, until the top noodles begin to brown and get crispy.
Before we share a recipe with you, please join us in wishing our sister Rayna a very happy birthday!
And a happy Hanukkah to everyone!
Now, back to food:
When we were in Ireland, we had the most delicious potato gratin at a little cafe on Inishmore, the largest of a group of islands called the Aran Islands. We had to take a ferry there from where we were staying in the amazing town Doolin, and the water was rough, but this recipe was worth getting seasick on the trip back. We spent the day exploring a place much more remote than the island we live on, seeing beautiful old sites and gorgeous green views! This gratin was one of the only vegetarian things on the menu at the cafe, and one of the few things that didn’t include sausage, which is why we ordered it. After the first bite I asked them how the prepared it; I had to recreate it at home!
The beautiful prehistoric ring fort, Dún Aengus: