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The Dish That Was Named After an Anthem – With Recipe!

Adrienn Vass 2021.03.05.

Grenadiermarsch grenade cubes, more popularly known by their less intimidating name of potato pasta. The dish which is currently reliving its renaissance after having stood the test of time. One of Hungary’s simplest and most cost-efficient national dishes, which was appropriately born, like all simple and cost-efficient foods, during a war.

Translated by Tamás Vaski

The German-sounding name is obviously attributable to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Soldiers who wielded grenades were known at the time as grenadiers, and the Grenadiermarsch was their anthem. Grenadiers carried more weight than any other soldier during the period, thus requiring as much energy as they could get. Given that meat was much more of a luxury at the time, the soldiers needed to find other effective alternatives with which they could get their calories in.

Simple foods rich in carbohydrates came into discussion, and one which perfectly met the requirements to be turbocharged with pasta was the famous Hungarian potato paprikash.

For the creation of the new recipe, pasta was quite literally mixed directly into potato paprikash. This may sound bizarre, but someone who grew up in Hungary would not stray away even from this unexpected mixture, since potato paprikash was always a recurring favorite in canteens. The food of the grenadiers also became one of the most popular dishes for lent, thanks to it being rich in carbohydrates but lacking meat.

Today potato pasta is served with a renewed vigor in Hungarian bistros, with sausage being a common addition to the original recipe. Although the addition of meat is an excellent upgrade to the former version that the grenadiers used, we will remain true to the original, simple recipe, and provide its traditional lent version.

Potato Pasta

-For two people-

  • 500 g (400 g peeled) potatoes / three big potatoes, chopped into little pieces
  • 200 g pasta
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 dl water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil or lard

In a large skillet or saucepan, sauté the chopped onions in hot lard. Once they are cooked adequately, remove them from the heat and season them with paprika. Add the peeled and chopped potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then pour in about 4dl of water. Cover it and let it cook until it is soft.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of water, cook and then drain the pasta.

Once the potatoes have softened, mash them a little bit and mix them in with the cooked, drained pasta. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Simple!

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Photos and featured photo by Péter Csákvári/Hungary Today