Pasta and halloumi in Cyprus are a no brainier. The salty halloumi and zingy lemon pasta is synonymous with my childhood. Flavours are simple but sure to impress especially if you’re making your own pasta. This is vegetarian (see notes marked*) and due to the halloumi provides a good amount of non-meat based protein, calcium, vitamin A, B2 & B12, along with many vital minerals such as folic acid, zinc, phosphorus and iodine, supporting your immune system cognitive function and preventing fatigue.

Cyprus has a long history of using pasta since its Roman and Venetian occupation and due to its successful wheat production has utilises many local types of pasta. It even has protected status for its own types of pasta such as Makaronia tis Smilas (Chiseled / Skewered Pasta).

This recipe is takes a little bit longer to prepare however it’s so worth the effort. I would recommend preparing batches of this to have on the weekend for dinner or lunch and then freeze the rest in batches to get have a quick delicious meal during the week.

Halloumi . .  I would recommend you get the best halloumi you can buy as it’s the centrepreice of the dish. Traditionally this would be prepared using mature halloumi which usually comes in large containers of brine and is more sour and stronger. If you can’t get a hold of this you can grate the halloumi a day before and leave it in the refrigerator uncovered. This will intensify and dry out the grated cheese. Traditionally halloumi was made with rennet (non-vegetarian ingredient) to ferment the cheese however it’s more common now to get it without. If you are making the vegetarian version of this please check to ensure the halloumi is suitable.

Pasta . . . handmade pasta in Cyprus uses olive oil and water in place of eggs. The dough also is made from plain flour which gives the pasta more of a bite that you don’t usually get from fresh pasta. To roll out the pasta sheets I have used a pasta roller however it’s perfectly fine to use a four dusted rolling pin. I have made large shapes cut with a roller cutter which allow of more filling per dumpling however feel free to experiment using smaller shapes and cutting in circles or triangles with a knife, biscuit cutters or even a glass rim?

This pasta dish is usually served topped with some of the stock, lemon juice, some more gated halloumi and is perfect with some shredded leftover chicken, additional pine nuts* (vegetarian supplement) and a drizzle of olive oil.

41 hour 20 min’ 5 min’1 hour 25 min’



  • 500g plain all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil (additional for topping)
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 250 ml water
  • 2 stock cube (vegetable* / chicken)


  • 300g Mature halloumi grated (additional for topping)
  • Small bunch fresh mint (approx’ 6-8 sprigs)
  • 1/2 tbsp dried mint (additional for topping)
  • 2 Large free range eggs


  • Shredded leftover chicken breast
  • Pine nuts*
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper



Sift the flour in a large bowl then add the salt and mix through.

Add the olive oil and slowly add in the a stock cube dissolved in 250ml of water. Stir through with a spatula. Once the flour starts to combine to form a dough mix together with your hands to ensure the dough is smooth and there are not lumps.

Once the dough has combined knead with your hands or a mixer for 10 minutes. You should start to see the stretched surfaces of the dough become smooth. 

Dust the dough with some flour and form a ball and place it in a bowl, cover with a towel or cling film and set aside to rest for an hour and start preparing the filling.


Grate the halloumi in a large bowl and add the fresh and dried mint.

Lightly wisk the eggs in a small side dish and then add to the halloumi mixture. Mix through until well combined and set aside.


Empty the rested dough onto a floured surface. Divide with a knife into quarters.

Working each price at a time, dust the board and rolling pin and stretch and roll out into a rough sheet enough to pass through a pasta roller (~10mm thick). 

If using a rolling pin continue to roll out until the sheet is ~3mm thick. If using a pasta roller feed through on a wider setting (setting 7 on my roller) and feed through a couple more times, reducing the thickness setting on each round till the sheet is ~15cm wide and the sheet is 3m thick or setting 2. 

Lay out and dust each sheet separately with flour. Do not stack or leave to long as the dough will combine and become sticky.

Open out each sheet on the work surface orientated horizontally. Lightly press a line halfway across the centre of the sheet to give the impression of two long horizontal runs.

Place a heaped teaspoon of the filling along the bottom run of at 6cm centres. You should end up with about 8-9 mounds across the sheet depending on size.

Brush the top side of the sheet with some water and fold the top half, along the dividing ruler impression, over the bottom half containing the filling.

Using your hands, press the dough around the filling to remove any air, sealing the top and bottom layers around the pockets of filling.

Separate the pockets from each other using a pasta cutter, pizza roller or cut using any utensil pressing the edge through through the dough around each pocket. Press the edges with a fork to ensure they’re stuck together.

Dust the pockets with flour and set aside on a tray separately until ready to coak. 

Repeat the process for the other sheets. You should have about 36 dumplings after this. You can also repress any excess dough to create more sheets if you have leftover filling. 

If freezing; cover the tray in cling film and place in the freezer. Once frozen remove from the tray and place the rafkioles in a resealable bag / container to keep in the freezer.


Heat a large pan 3/4 filled with water and add a pinch of salt and 1 chicken stock cube, and bring to the boil.

Place in the rafkioles individually in batches of 8 or 9 into the boiling water, not overcrowding the pan, and cook for 4-5 minutes from fresh or 8-9 minutes from frozen.

Strain the pasta with a slotted spoon and serve in a deep plate or bowl with a little of the stock spooned over.

Top the pasta with some additional halloumi, dried mint, lemon juice, a table spoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add any additional topping you like and enjoy!

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