Yid.dish: Pharaoh’s Wheel

By Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster

Published February 05, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

This week’s parsha is B’shalach, which tells the climatic final chapter of the Exodus: the Israelites’ nighttime crossing of the Red Sea and the drowning of Pharaoh and his chariots. The Italian Jews have a special recipe they make this Shabbat called Pharaoh’s Wheel, a pasta baked into a round pan and filled with nuts, raisins, and meat. Unlike the flat, plain matzah of Passover, the lekhem oni of slaves, Pharaoh’s Wheel is a dish to be tasted in freedom.

I remember to make Pharaoh’s Wheel every few years, and it is always greeted with celebration, along with the realization that I still don’t own a round oven-proof dish (Pharaoh’s Brick, anyone?). This year, I was proud to be able to make it with grass-fed, ethically slaughtered kosher meat.

Pharaoh’s Wheel (Ruota Di Faraone)

Homemade pasta made with 4 eggs and 2.5-3 cups flour (or 1 pound dry pasta–adjust recipe accordingly)

6 quarts water

3 tablespoons salt

3 cups meat sauce (recipe follows)

1/2 cups (or more) diced pickled tongue, beef salami, or beef sausage

oil or schmaltz

1/2-1 cup raisins (optional)

1/2-1 cup almonds (optional)

1/2-1 cup pine nuts (optional)

Roll dough not too thin and fold as you would for a jelly roll, 2 1/2″ wide. Cut 1/6″ wide slices and toss to unfold noodles. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add tagliolini and salt; when boiling resumes, cook for 1 minute.

Drain and place in a large bowl with meat sauce, diced colds cuts, and nuts and raisins if using. Toss quickly to distribute sauce.

Place in a round oven-proof baking dish, well greased. Bake in 350 oven for 1-1.5 hours, or until a nice crust is formed. Serves 6-8.

Meat Sauce (Sugo di Carne)

1/2 cup olive or corn oi

1-2 medium onions, chopped finely

1 carrot, chopped finely

2 stalks celery, chopped finely

2-3 springs Italian parsley, chopped finely

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup dry white wine

2/3 cup tomato paste

1.5 cups beef stock or water

salt

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, carrot, celery, and parsley, and lightly brown for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add meat and brown thoroughly, stirring frequently.

Add the wine and raise the heat to allow it to boil for a few minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook over high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock or water and cook, covered, over very low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste. Sauce should be thick. If it is too watery, cook a few minutes longer.

Adapted from The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews by Edda Servi Machlin.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.