Aletria is a sweet Portuguese pasta dessert prepared with extremely fine noodles such as vermicelli or angel hair pasta. While resembling Arroz Doce (Sweet Rice), it features a distinct starchy element.
With the festive essence of cinnamon, it has become a customary presence on the Christmas table in Portugal. Both children and adults appreciate this distinctive and traditional dessert.
Enjoy this traditional Aletria recipe!
- 12 oz vermicelli noodles (aletria)
- 3 ½ cups milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 lemon rind
- 3 egg yolks beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder to decorate
- Pour 3 ½ cups of milk in a saucepan and heat it up on medium high heat.
- Once the milk starts boiling stir in the butter, sugar and lemon rind and lower the heat to medium. Take out 1/2 cup of milk to combine with the egg yolks later.
- Add in the vermicelli and stir as it simmers for about 5 – 7 minutes until it cooks completely and absorbs some of the milk.
- Beat the egg yolks and add the reserved warm milk, while stirring vigorously to combine without "cooking" the yolks.
- Incorporate the egg mixture into the saucepan and cook for another couple of minutes while stirring continuously. You should see the milk thicken to a nice, smooth consistency.
- Remove the lemon rind and cinnamon stick from the pan and pour the creamy pasta in a serving dish and allow to cool.
- Now you can decorate the top with cinnamon powder. You can feel free to get creative here, forming various patterns, like the traditional criss-crosses or writing whatever you wish!