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Tag Archives | South Coast of Turkey

Delicious, Sun kissed Inspirations from Kalkan; Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic and tomatoes, in olive oil

We have had some wonderful food while in Kalkan at the south coast of Turkey, featuring region’s sun kissed fresh produce; tomatoes have been at their peak, and the peppers tasted out of this world – no need to mention the region’s divine olive oil; I could dip my bread to it all day!

Sun kissed south coast of Turkey is always so inviting

We had this simple yet very delicious pasta at the Villa Mahal’s café, and I recreated at home in England; it is packed with goodness and so easy too, ready within 30 minutes. The sweetness of tomatoes and peppers work so well with the chili pepper and tangy lemon juice- a handful of capers also work really well in this sauce.  Even though it wasn’t Kalkan’s lovingly grown tomatoes, still tasted wonderful, with children asking for another serving; sunshine on a plate.

Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic in olive oil, so delicious

Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic, tomatoes in olive oil, so delicious

For the ultimate Turkish experience, you can serve the pasta with Ayran, refreshing Turkish drink with yoghurt or Cacik dip with cucumber and yoghurt by the side. The tangy and hard Turkish kasar cheese goes very well, grated over the pasta; if you can’t get kasar, you can replace it with a tangy cheddar or Pecorino Romano.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book, available to order at this link

I am passionate about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine and aimed to showcase this wonderful cuisine with stories from my homeland at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. It has over 90 authentic Turkish recipes and regional specialties from my hometown, Antakya. Signed copies are available to order at this link, for a limited period, if you’d like to get a copy.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes                     Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

500gr pasta (spaghetti or penne works well) – or enough for 4 –

Red, orange, yellow (or green) pointy or bell peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

1-2 chili peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

4-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

4 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped – please keep all the wonderful juice!-

Juice of ½ lemon

5ml/1 tsp. brown sugar

60ml/3 tbsp. olive oil

10ml/2 tsp. oregano

5ml/1 tsp. red pepper flakes – optional-

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Grated hard and tangy Turkish kasar  (tangy cheddar) or  Pecorino Romano to serve

Ripe tomatoes, juicy peppers, garlic; fresh ingredients for a healthy, delicious sauce

Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan and stir in the peppers, chili pepper and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and combine well. Stir in the lemon juice, brown sugar and red pepper flakes, if using. Season with salt and ground black pepper, mix well.  Leave to cook on a moderate heat for about 8 minutes. Once cooked, stir in the oregano to the sauce and check the seasoning.

Tomatoes, peppers, chili and the garlic work so well together

Boil the water for the pasta in a separate heavy pan, while the sauce is cooking. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of lightly salted boiling water until a minute before it is al dente (please refer to the cooking time on the pasta’s packaging). Drain the water and set aside the pasta in the colander.

Stir in the pasta to the pan where the sauce is cooked; make sure to coat all the pasta with the sauce (if you like, you can drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the pasta).

Make sure to stir in the cooked pasta to the pan you cooked the sauce in, to mop up all the juices

Serve hot with grated tangy kasar (cheddar) or  pecorino cheese over the pasta. Steamed vegetables or cacik dip complement the pasta well; ayran drink would be a refreshing accompaniment to the pasta too.

Sunset in Kalkan; mesmerising

Sunset in Kalkan; mesmerising

Afiyet Olsun!



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Glorious South Coast of Turkey – Kalkan, Fethiye, Oludeniz and more- & Its Wonderful People

Turquoise Med amongst olive trees; ever so inviting.

Have you ever been to the south coast of Turkey? Being a native of Turkey, I have spent many happy childhood holidays at the west and south coast of  Turkey – beautiful turquoise sea, sun kissed sandy beaches, watermelon (favorite childhood fruit!) and delicious food to indulge; always looked forward to the holidays.

Lovely view and local plants from our friendly hotel, Ekinhan, Kalkan.

During the last 15 years or so, we have been a regular to the south coast of Turkey; Fethiye, Oludeniz, Kalkan, Marmaris and many more wonderful locations. The ever so inviting Mediterranean, olive trees, wonderful food and its people never disappointed us; always energizing, always inspiring and relaxing. Please check out the wonderful blog on Fethiye and surroundings, Turkey’s For Life ; I am sure you will be inspired by these amazing locations.

Fisherman and boats getting ready for the daily catch in Kalkan

We have been going back to Kalkan during the last 8 years, on and off. Apart from its quaint village and wonderful bays, it is the local, friendly people drawn us to this wonderful part of the world.

The quaint village of Kalkan, getting ready for the day

Wonderful pottery, locally made in Kalkan and Fethiye region.

Kalkan also have a vibrant, inspiring art scene; wonderful art galleries, artisan local pottery shops all so worth stopping by. I loved reading Turkish Travel Blog’s Kalkan – Inspiration on my solo holiday– do please check out her post on the art scene and inspirations Kalkan provided to many.

How about its people? I think wherever you go, it is the people, the locals you come across that make the difference. We have been lucky enough to meet and make friends with wonderful locals at the region – and always so nice to find them again there next time we visit!

Take our friend Coskun. He is a native of Kalkan, born and bred, has been in tourism industry for years already. He studies Tourism at University in Antalya, has worked in many different resorts so far. But it is in Kalkan he feels he is happier and belongs to. Always so friendly, can’t do enough for you kind of person, always with a smile – we do hope to see him next time we are there:)!

How about dear Buket? Another lovely local from Fethiye, with a big heart and smile.  Buket is not only a wonderful complementary therapist  but a very talented painter – another tribute to the art scene of the region-  Her optimism, zest for life is infectious.

One of Buket's lovely paintings, what a wonderful sunflower, isn't it?

And we do love the food in the region; surrounded by the wonderful olive trees, you are spoilt with the delicious olive oil, freshest fruit and vegetables. Here are a few samples of what we enjoyed;

Greek salad with a twist; using Turkish white cheese and olive oil this time.


Turkish flat bread with cheese and tomato; our regular lunch in Kalkan, so delicious.

The pide is baked freshly there in front of you with various toppings, so delicious and you can easily recreate at your home.  Here is my version of this delicious flat bread with cheese and tomato and various toppings, do hope you can have a go sometime.

My version of flatbreads with cheese&tomato, cheese&spinach and ground meat fillings

I wanted this post a little heartfelt tribute to the wonderful south coast of Turkey that has always called us back and filled us with inspirations and happiness. I truly hope you can make it there sometime – if so, please have a dive in to the turquoise Mediterranean for me too: )

Happy travels to you all!


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