Syrian Lentils with Pasta

Sephardi style recipes tend to be full of spices and herbs and this is no exception. I love this colourful array of two carbohydrates together. Traditionally called Harak Osbao which means ‘burnt fingers’ because it tastes so good, one is encouraged to enjoy immediately with one’s fingers! And it just happens to be vegan too.

Preparation Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time: Approx 50 minutes Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients 4 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling 200g dried fettucine – broken into pieces ~ 4 red onions -peeled and finely sliced 4 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped 2 teaspoons cumin ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons sumac 1 tablespoon dried coriander ~ 200g green lentils 400ml vegetable stock 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses Juice of 1 lemon 25g fresh coriander – finely chopped 15g fresh mint leaves

Garnish 50g pomegranate seeds 20g walnuts – roasted and roughly chopped 2 pita breads –cut into cubes and toasted

Method 1) Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep saucepan. Fry the dry fettucine until just golden for about 1-2 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2) Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil and sauté the onions and garlic. Add the cumin, cinnamon, sumac and coriander and season well. Cook for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

3) Pour the stock into a separate saucepan, bring to the boil. Add the lentils, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice and simmer for 20 minutes.

4) Then add the toasted fettucine, 100ml water and leave to cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is almost cooked. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes for the remaining liquid to be absorbed by the lentils and pasta.

5) Transfer to a large serving dish. Add the onions, chopped coriander and mint leaves.

6) Garnish with pomegranate seeds, walnuts and pita bread cubes.