Makarina is a handmade macaroni that is part of the culinary tradition of the people of the Pontus (today’s northeast Turkey), a Greek community that used to live there since ancient times. Its shape makes it ideal for gourmet creations for contemporary dishes.
Refugees from the Pontus to Almopia, a municipality that was formerly a province of the Pella region of Macedonia in northern Greece, brought the recipe with them when they settled in the area after the Greeks of Asia Minor and of the Pontus region were expelled between 1914 and 1922 because of their religion and ethnicity.
Most of the refugees and survivors fled to Greece (adding over a quarter to the prior population of Greece). Some, especially those in Eastern provinces, took refuge in the neighbouring Russian Empire.
It is a pasta that is something between macaroni and vermicelli. To prepare it, flour and semolina are mixed with fresh milk and eggs, which is then made into a sheet of pastry that is dried for a few hours and then hand-cut into tiny pieces of macaroni. The difficult process requires patience and skill.
Makarina is cooked like regular macaroni and can be served as-is or with fresh butter and cheese or with fresh tomato sauce. It can also be served with any kind of meat, mushrooms or seafood and is generally makes for masterful combinations that satisfy even the most demanding palette. It goes well with sauce due to its shape and the aromas of the carefully selected wheat that blends well with fresh milk and eggs.