Middle Eastern Lentils and Pasta





  • in a small covered saucepan, bring the lentils, water and salt to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer till tender, about 40 minutes, stir occasionally.
  • when the lentils are done, drain them if all the water has not been absorbed.
  • while the lentils cook, puree the tomatoes, garlic, chile, oil, vinegar and salt in a blender.
  • Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • reduce the heat and simmer briskly, uncovered, until thick, about 20-25 minutes.
  • stir occasionally, as the sauce begins to cook, and more frequently as it begins to thicken.
  • while the lentils and hot sauce simmer, cook the rice. rinse the rice well in a sieve and drain.
  • warm the oil in a saucepan and add the rice, water and salt.
  • Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on very low heat, till the water is absorbed and the rice is done, about 15 minutes.
  • meanwhile, pour about 1/2 inch oil inot a medium cast iron or nonstick skillet. on high heat, warm the oil till it is very hot, almost smoking.
  • Add about half of the onions,fry, stirring often until the onions are quite brown, about 10 minutes.
  • remove and drain on paper towels.
  • Sprinkle the onions with 1/8 t of salt.
  • repeat with the rest of the onions.
  • as you begin to fry the second batch of onions, bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the macaroni. by now, the hot sauce has probably finished cooking, so you have a free burner.
  • cook the pasta till al dente and then drain.
  • to serve, mound the lentils, macaroni, and rice in adjoining piles on a large platter.
  • sprinkle with the fried onions and top with some of the hot sauce.
  • serve immediately and serve with more hot sauce.