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Tave Kosi: the delicious yogurt and lamb casserole from Albanian tradition

The pairing of wine with food is an ancient art that can transform a simple meal into an unforgettable sensory experience. When it comes to Italian cuisine and wine, one enters a fascinating dimension where two seemingly distant culinary worlds can meet to create surprising harmonies of taste. Moreover, these moments become essential for creating social and political bonds and fostering great cooperation among peoples.

Today, we take you to Albania with the delicious Tave Kosi, a lamb and yogurt casserole paired with two excellent Italian wines.

Tave Kosi is a traditional Albanian dish that combines intense flavors and is made with tender lamb, rice, and a creamy yogurt sauce.

Traditional Tave Kosi Recipe


1 kg of lamb (leg or shoulder)

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

200 g of rice

1 liter of whole yogurt

4 eggs

1 tablespoon of flour

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of melted butter (for the final cooking)

Dried mint or oregano to taste


Preparation of the Meat:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the lamb and brown it on all sides until golden. Remove the lamb from the pan and set it aside.

Cooking the Rice:

In the same pan, add the chopped onion and sauté until golden brown.

Add the rice and stir well for a couple of minutes, then pour in 500 ml of hot water, salt, and pepper. Let it cook until the rice has absorbed all the water.

Preparation of the Yogurt Sauce:

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and mix with the yogurt and flour until you get a smooth mixture. Add a bit of salt and pepper.


In a large baking dish, spread the cooked rice evenly. Place the pieces of lamb on top of the rice.

Pour the yogurt sauce over the lamb and rice, making sure everything is well covered. Drizzle the melted butter over the yogurt sauce and, if desired, sprinkle with dried mint or oregano.


Bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until the surface is golden and the yogurt sauce is well set.

Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Our Pairing Suggestions with Italian Productions!


For those who prefer white wine, Vermentino di Gallura (Sardinia) is an extraordinary choice, offering freshness and citrus notes that pleasantly contrast with the creamy texture of Tave Kosi, making each bite even more delightful.


Chianti Classico (Tuscany), with its notes of red fruit, spices, and light acidity, can be an excellent companion for Tave Kosi. Its medium body and balanced tannins harmonize well with the richness of the lamb and the creaminess of the yogurt sauce.


How to Store Tave Kosi

Tave Kosi can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container. To reheat it, cover it with aluminum foil and warm it in the oven at a low temperature.

Can I substitute lamb with another meat?

What are Other Variants of Tave Kosi?

Can I use Greek yogurt for this recipe?

Is it possible to make Tave Kosi without eggs?

Can you make a vegetarian Tave Kosi?


And now, a very brief survey!

Are you classic or adventurous in your tasting experiences?

Quando scegli un vino da abbinare ai tuoi pasti, cosa preferisci?

  • Abbinamenti classici (rosso con carne, bianco con pesce)

  • Sperimentare nuovi abbinamenti


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