What is Trida?
Also known as Mkartfa/Mkatfa or in Tunisia Nwasser. Trida is small square pasta. I can buy this in the supermarkets here in Algeria, traditionally it’s homemade.
I have yet to try making my own pasta. First I need a pasta machine. If you are an avid pasta maker, try this traditional recipe for Trida.
It’s been raining on and off here for the last week or so. We’ve had a couple of thunderstorms too. This type of weather means I’m still clinging heavily to winter dishes, such as Aadess & Loubia. Also one-pot pasta dishes like Trida.
I say one pot but, it’s more one-pot and an optional pan. You see, I remove the chicken pieces from the sauce and quickly brown in a frying/grill pan before serving. This step is not essential to the dish , it just looks better.
You can make this pasta dish Vegan by swapping the chicken for a handful of chickpeas and/or some vegetables. Many add those to this meat version too. So yes, there are plenty of options. I however, like my pasta simple.
Trida with spicy tomato sauce, for me is right up there in deliciousness with spaghetti bolognese. They are very different in flavour though. This is a fairly spicy dish, using chilli powder and fresh hot green pepper if you have it.
How is Trida Cooked?
Traditionally the pasta is steamed similar to Couscous, before adding to the sauce.
I found a quicker and easier method, adding Trida directly to a very liquid sauce, covering the pot and turning off the heat.
The pasta being small and thin quickly cooks and soaks up the vibrant red sauce in the residual heat of the pot. This method also yields a saucier pasta dish.
Admittedly some of the pasta squares do stick together. I love that, it’s sort of a spicy, mini, unstuffed take on Ravioli.
Try it and let me know if you agree with my description.
Trida with Spicy Tomato Sauce
An Algerian dish of fine small pasta squares in a spicy tomato sauce with chicken.
- 2 tbsp Oil ((I use tbsp each of veg & olive))
- 4 pieces Halal Chicken (skinless, on the bone)
- 1 medium Red Onion (coarsely grated)
- 3 medium Garlic Cloves (finely grated or minced)
- to taste Salt (1¼ tsp for me )
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp red chilli powder (rounded)
- 1 tsp Ras el hanout spice mix
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree (heaped)
- 1 Fresh Tomato (ripe, peeled & grated)
- 1 Green Pepper (hot or sweet, pierced *optional)
- 1½ l Boiled Water
- 300 g Trida Pasta (dry)
- 1 small bunch Fresh Coriander Leaves (finely chopped)
- In a 3L cooking pot with lid, warm oil over medium heat, add chicken, salt, onion and garlic, stir to combine, turn the heat down. Cook for a few minutes until the onion softens, turning the chicken often to seal it on all sides.
- Stir in the dry spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Do the same with the tomato paste followed by fresh tomato. If using, add the pierced green pepper followed by the freshly boiled water, cover and cook for 30mins.
- Remove the cooked chicken pieces, set aside. Add Trida Pasta, stir once, cover and turn off the heat. Meanwhile brown chicken pieces in a frying pan using a tsp or two of oil/butter.
- Serve Trida garnished with coriander leaves and either top with browned chicken pieces or serve separately. If desired add a handful of pre-cooked chickpeas to the sauce before adding the pasta.
To make vegan replace with handful or chickpeas and/or vegetables such as potato and carrot.
If using fresh Trida you will need approximately 420g. I haven’t tried this recipe using fresh pasta but I would suggest reducing the amount of water when cooking the sauce.
Recipe adapted from Couscous & Pudding Blog