For the past seven years, Natasa Tsirmpa has served as the cook at the Harding University in Greece (HUG) campus. If you talk to any HUG student from those past seven years about their HUG experience, you will no doubt hear about Natasa's hospitality and the wonderful dishes that she prepares. For many students, Natasa's food stands toe-to-toe with iconic Greek sites like the Parthenon in their favorite memories of HUG.
To the joy of HUG alumni everywhere, Natasa recently published a cookbook entitled HUG Through Food: A Greek Cook Feeds American Students. We're excited that not only has Natasa released this cookbook of many of our favorite meals from HUG, but that she has also shared a recipe with us for this month's newsletter! Keep reading below to see how to make Pasta Pomodoro as well as view some photos of some other dishes found in her cookbook.
If you're interested in purchasing Natasa's cookbook, you can find it here on Amazon.
This is a very tasty spring recipe for pasta. You will need one pound of linguine pasta.
1 pound of cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic (keep the outer leaves to prevent the garlic from burning)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Red pepper flakes (the spiciness of the sauce will depend on the amount and intensity of these)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup of olive oil
A few basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic smashed (outer leaves removed)
2 shallots cut in four or 1 red onion
Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
Do not peel the garlic because it will get burnt. Add all the sauce ingredients to a baking pan and stir so that the oil and the spices coat the cherry tomatoes. Place in the oven at 400° F and bake for twenty minutes until the tomatoes start to darken.
In a small pot, place all the ingredients for the aromatic oil and take it over low heat. We want it to be barely simmering. Leave on the stove for 15-20 minutes until the herbs infuse the oil and butter mixture. You could skip the butter if you want but do not skip the olive oil.
Back to the pan. Take a few tomatoes out of the pan and set them aside for decoration. Take the garlic cloves and squeeze them. Discard the peel but add the cooked garlic to the tomato sauce. Pick any existing chunks of herb stems out of the pan. Place the rest of the tomatoes in a bowl. Add the infused olive oil through a sieve (to catch all the herbs) to the tomatoes and puree. Transfer to a heavy saucepan.
Bring three quarts of water to a boil. Add two tablespoons of salt and the pasta. Boil for two minutes less than the instructions on your pasta package. Save a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the saucepan and stir over low heat for one more minute so that the pasta absorbs all the taste from the sauce. Taste. You will probably need to add a pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of the pasta water to bring back some moisture. Serve on a nice plate. Add fresh pepper and grated parmesan. Decorate with the tomatoes you saved and enjoy!
Below are some more photos of food that can be found in Natasa's cook book.
Attend HUF or HUG this summer, or both!
Study abroad starts back up this summer with a variety of programs seeking to provide the perfect opportunity for each student. Due to the schedules of two of our programs this summer, students have the unique opportunity of not only having a HUF or HUG experience, but both. Allow us to explain. HUF
This summer HUF has been divided into two, one-month sessions. Students will either attend HUF in June or July. The June session is full, but July can still accommodate 14 more students. July HUF will run from July 5th-August 2nd and include six hours of tuition. HUG in August
At HUG, HUF and HULA in August, we are offering a short study abroad experience where students will take a two or three-hour Bible course that will count as their fall 2021 Bible course. August HUF is full and August HULA only has two spaces still available. August HUG (led by Dr. Monte Cox) has a few more spaces available and makes it ideal for students to pair up with July HUF. Combine July HUF & August HUG
August HUG begins August 3rd and concludes August 18th, just in time to make it back to Searcy for the fall semester. A student could attend July HUF and then hop over to HUG for the two-week August experience, earning 8-9 hours of credit, 2-3 of which would count as their fall 2021 Bible class. If a student signs up for both July HUF and August HUG, they will receive a discount of $2,000 off the August HUG program cost.
Space still available at HIZ Fall 2021, with new itinerary
Summer programs are not the only programs with exciting news, we've made some big changes to the Harding in Zambia (HIZ) itinerary and cost sheet for the fall 2021 semester! HIZ 2021 students will spend the beginning of their semester in Zambia, as well as one week in North Africa in Egypt and then close out the semester with a visit to Greece before returning back to the US. These new additions will allow students to learn more about the rich history of Africa, as well as the missionary efforts in this part of the world, with Greece serving as an immigration converging point where missionaries can minister to people migrating from Africa and the Middle East and into Europe.
While in Egypt, HIZ students will
Visit numerous pyramids
Visit the Sphinx
Cruise on the Nile
Tour a variety of Egyptian temples, tombs and ruins
While in Greece, HIZ students will
Tour Athens (the Parthenon, Mars Hill & more)
Work with the local church and missionaries in Athens to minister to locals and migrants from numerous countries
Take a Virtual Tour of Florence, Italy with HUF Director Robbie Shackelford
For the past eight months, HUF director Robbie Shackelford has been recording video tours of Florence to share Italy with prospective students and alumni alike. Below are the links to each video on his Instagram page. Stay tuned for more videos to follow!
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