Top 10 dishes you need to try on the coastline and the island of Pag

10 coastal and island Pag recipes

On the coastal-island area, the tastes and the scent of the Mediterranean cuisine prevails abounding in vegetables and fish. Fish and seafood are prepared in various ways: boiled, baked, stewed, marinated or other, with plenty of spices and vegetables - mostly garlic, parsley, Swiss chard, broad beans, various filed cabbages and seasonal vegetables.
Asparagus is a specialty prepared in various ways with various foods.
Meat - mostly, veal, young beef, chicken, turkey and the particular specialty – lamb from Pag prepared in various ways, served with an abundance of side dishes.
Macaroni on a needle is a specialty in Novalja, served at every feast along with larded baby beef or goulash.
Among the traditional sweets are plain fritters (hrostuli), various cakes prepared with the old-time recipes, while the particular specialty is strudel with curd cheese.  
But the most famous product from this part of the region is the famous Pag cheese that owes its particular taste to the salt sprinkled grass grazed by the island sheep.


1. Pag cheese

Pag cheese, ham and olives added with olive oil from Lun on the island of Pag

2.  The lamb of the Pag Island


3. Asparagus


4. Saur

Saur is a Pag specialty where smaller fish is used - gavun, štriga, picarels, as well as pilchards, tuna and other fish. First fry the fish on both sides in oil. Fry the onion in the same oil. Add garlic, parsley, pepper and water. Pour in a large quantity of wine vinegar. Stir and cook without fish for ten minutes. Leave to cool completely. Arrange the fried and cooled fish in layers in a deep pot. Leave it to cool completely. Sprinkle with a few small branches of rosemary at the top of the arranged fish. Pour a mixture made up of oil, water, vinegar and spices over the whole. Let it stay for a few hours and then it is ready to be served. Saur can last for a few days but it is best when left for one day.


5. Fish plate

(For 2 persons)
400 g grouper, 400 g dentex, 200 kg scampi, 500 g squid, 100 g mussel
300 ml olive oil

Clean the fish. Wash, drain and cut it into pieces. Add salt and grill. While grilling add oil and turn gently so it gains colour equally on both sides. Grill well the scampi, squid and mussel. Place the grilled fish on a tray, add garlic, parsley and lemon. Potatoes or Swiss chard can be a side dish.


6. Risotto from seafood

fresh scampi, squid, mussel, clam
onion, garlic
olive oil
peeled tomatoes (pelati)
a pinch of salt and pepper

Fry scampi tails, squid, mussel and clam in olive oil. Add spices and braise slowly. Add rice, continue braising and sprinkle with fish soup. Stir continually while cooking. When the rice is cooked sprinkle with parsley and serve warm. Serve with grated cheese from Pag.

7. Brodetto (fish stew)

Various fish (conger eel, angler, grouper, sea bass, scampi)
garlic, onion
olive oil
peeled tomato (pelati)
a pinch of salt and pepper
celery, parsley
vinegar and white wine

Cut the onion into thick pieces and fry in heated olive oil. When it droops add pelati, finely cut garlic, celery, parsley, salt and pepper. When it is brought to boil add the fish. Pour wine enough to let the fish “swim” and then add 1 dl wine vinegar for the fish not to crumble. Cook at moderate temperature for 1 hour.
When ready, the food is served warm. It can be served cold with polenta (corn porridge) or macaroni as side dishes.


8. Stuffed octopus under the baking lid

4 kg octopus
100 g prosciutto ham
200 g soft cheese (gouda)
100 g ham
100 g bacon
a small onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1,5 kg potatoes
salt, pepper, parsley,
Mediterranean herbs (laurel, rosemary...)

Clean and wash the octopus. Cut the thinner tentacles so that only the thicker part (umbrella) remains.
Braise finely cut onion in a mixture of olive and sunflower oil.
Add finely cut garlic to the onions and fry slightly. Add the cut pieces of octopus, parsley and Mediterranean spices. Add bacon cut into small pieces and continue braising. Leave to cool.
When the substance is cool add prosciutto ham, ham and cheese cut into squares.
Open the octopus umbrella and stuff it with the prepared substance. Salt the stuffed octopus and season it with Mediterranean herbs and parsley before placing it under the baking lid. Place the baking lid on hot coals. Bake it for one hour. In the meantime peel the potatoes, slice them and add a pinch of salt. Clear the coals and arrange the potatoes around the octopus and place the lid over it. Cover it with live coals and bake the whole for 1 hour. Take the baking lid away from the coals, place the octopus and potatoes in an oval and cut it into pieces ready to be served.

9. Macaroni on a needle

1 kg flour
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
50 ml oil
100 g butter
150-200 ml lukewarm water

Place the flour on a wooden board and in it form a dent in which you will place the egg, the egg yolk, salt, oil and slightly melted butter. Gradually add lukewarm water and form batter. Batter needs to be beaten well and it should result in a smooth form, not too solid and not too soft. Split the batter into few smaller pieces, cover it with a cloth and let it sit for a while. Form small cylinders from the batter, cut them into smaller pieces, place a knitting needle on each piece, form the macaroons with your hands and then remove the needle. Place macaroons on a board and let them dry for a while. Boil them in salty water, drain them while they're al dente and serve them with stew or veal.


10. Sweets

3/4 kg soft flour
250 g sugar
3 eggs
1 vanilla sugar
1 baking powder
120 g margarine
lemon peel
a pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients and leave the mixture for about half an hour. Knead the dough on floured working area and spread it until it becomes very thin. Cut it lengthwise and make knots of the cut pieces. Fry in hot oil.