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!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • 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.