(Sunday lunch) Recipe: Dubrovnik pasta

It’s not just seafood that’s anything but popular on the Adriatic coast; Locals know many traditional delicacies worth trying.

When the Slovenes occupy the east coast of the Adriatic in the summer, they prefer to order a fish dish in the taverns there, especially fish, shellfish and squid baked under a pot or “under the stove”. We are less familiar with the local traditional dishes, which are not always based on seafood. One of these interesting traditional dishes, which can only be ordered in Dalmatia under this name, exclusively near Dubrovnik, is the already mentioned macaroni. It is a very old dish made of special homemade pasta and meat sauce, which Dubrovnik nobility always prepare for the feast of St. Vlaho, celebrated since 972. The dish, which is, among other things, the basis of Dubrovnik’s carnival and other festive cuisine, is of course relevant all year round and popular even in summer. However, it cannot hide its resemblance to Italian stew with pasta, from which it arguably originates.

The humorous name šporki makaruli (literally translated as dirty macaroni) comes from the way it’s served. The first, most important guests at the table got most of the meat sauce, the last ones mainly pasta, which was enough, but they could only spread it on the sauce or “dirt” something with it. the pot with them…

Macaroni as such is an excellent homemade tube-shaped pasta, prepared by wrapping egg pasta dough thinly around a skewer, pulling out the stick and drying the macaroni. When macaroni are cooked, today in the best restaurants on the Dalmatian islands they are served with various sauces, including fish, herbs, cheese…

On our soil, more precisely in Carinthia, we know a dish that is very similar in name and meaning to the sporkegel. Also meaning “dirty noodles,” fuj noodles are longer rolls of potato dough that can get “dirty” by simply quick-frying them on crackers or buttered breadcrumbs, but you can of course coat them with any sauce. Except that they are more Central European than Italian in origin. But the world is really small.



1 kg beef leg,

4 dl float from Hvar,

0.5 dl vinegar,

1 kg of onions,

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic,

2 tablespoons flour,

1 teaspoon sugar,

1 tablespoon ground pepper,

200 g tomato puree,

2 plums,

sea ​​salt and freshly ground pepper,

1 pinch of cinnamon,

1 bunch of fresh parsley,

250 g short hollow pasta


1 Wash the meat and place it in a bowl (preferably a tight bag) in which we have mixed the marinade made from 2dl of wine, vinegar and a little water. Cover and let stand in the cold overnight. Drain the meat well before cooking, cut into small cubes and dust with flour.

Finely chop 2 onions and fry slowly in olive oil (the original recipe also allows lard) until they get a nice golden colour. Once the onion is fried, add the chopped garlic and meat and stir for a few minutes to arrange everything nicely and color the meat. Then add the rest of the wine and let it boil down a bit. Then add the peppers, tomatoes, sugar, salt and sliced ​​plums. If necessary, add a little more water, then reduce the heat to a minimum and cook slowly for at least a third of an hour, preferably longer, until a thick, dark sauce forms.

3 Only towards the end add cinnamon, freshly chopped parsley and pepper to taste. Finally cook the short noodles. If we cannot prepare them at home (this is very important for the originality of the dish), we can use ready-made types of homemade pasta, such as the next Istrian fuži (which are quite similar to macaroni). or even gnocchi.

4 Before serving, pour the sauce over the pasta, mix and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and wait about a minute for the flavors to combine. Serve with green or mixed salad with olives and of course red Dalmatian wine, Pelješac or Hvar plavac is excellent.

Preparation and cooking time: 4 hours


We need it

5 large tomatoes,

1 tablespoon tomato puree,

1 dl olive oil,

4 cloves of garlic,

sea ​​salt, freshly ground pepper,

1 sprig of parsley,

1 sprig of basil,

100g parmesan,

fried corn tortillas (chips)


Wash and finely chop the parsley. Wash and slice tomatoes. Peel and grate a pumpkin and sauté in 2 tablespoons of oil. When fragrant, add tomatoes, puree and parsley and cook until soft. Add salt and pepper and puree with a hand blender. Meanwhile, add enough water to get desired soup density. When the soup boils again, season if necessary, then set aside and let rest, covered, for a few minutes. Sprinkle with basil leaves, drizzle with remaining oil and serve with grated parmesan and corn tortilla chips.


We need it

400 g baby biscuits,

4 tablespoons freshly ground coffee,

3 eggs,

100 grams of powdered sugar

500 g mascarpone cheese,

2 tablespoons cognac or rum

1 teaspoon grated orange zest,

2 tablespoons real cocoa powder.


Prepare a strong black coffee or espresso with 3 dl of water. Separate egg white and yolk. Beat the egg whites into the hard snow and beat the yolks with the sugar until fluffy. Stir in the mascarpone, cognac and orange zest, then carefully add the egg whites. Soak the cookies well in the coffee and line the entire bottom of the rectangular glass container with half of it. Spread evenly with half of the prepared cream. Arrange the other half of the soaked biscuits on top and spread with the remaining cream. Smooth out and sprinkle with cocoa. Place in the fridge overnight.


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