Flot means fleet in Russian. This simple dish consists of macaroni mixed with fried minced meat. In 17-18th centuries, in Russia similar dishes were quite popular among travelers and especially sailors; that no-fridge time meat was salted-cured and kept in barrels, thus seamen could cut a piece of the meat anytime, fry it and mix with some boiled macaroni. The dish became popular again during World War, but instead of fresh or frozen meat was used tushonka – canned stewed meat (usually fatty pork or beef), which was always on hand, and it could be stored up for years without loosing its nutritional value. Post-war period was also hard time for Russia, so such not expensive and nourishing dish didn’t get out of use. Nowadays, ‘macaroni a la flot’ are still widely-cooked and well-known dish; normally pasta tubes are used for macaroni, which mixed with fried minced meat (it can be pork, beef or mixture), onions and sometimes tomato paste or fresh chopped tomatoes.
Macaroni a la flot
- In a deep pan, melt the butter with oil on a medium heat, add onion and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add meat and use wooden or stiff spatula to break it up into small pieces. Season to taste. Ensure you stir the meat regularly so it doesn’t stick to the pan and to make sure it cook evenly. The meat is cooked when it shows no signs of pink.
- Meanwhile, put pasta into a large pot of boiling water. Be sure to add plenty of salt to the water. Cook the macaroni according to package instruction.
- Add 3-4 Tbsp of pasta-boiling water to the meat, mix well.
- When the pasta is al dente, drain it and add to the pan with meat. Give it a good stir.
- Serve warm. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or fennel, if desired.