Syrian Lentils & Pasta with Sumach

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Vegetarians Vegans
Syrian Lentils & Pasta with Sumach

This quick meal is perfect for a mid-week feast, and is inspired by Harak Osboa – a Syrian dish that combines a comforting mix of lentils and pasta. We've added a tangy twist thanks to tamarind paste and citrusy sumach.

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  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • A handful of coriander
  • 200g gnochetti pasta
  • Sea salt
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 600ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 400g tin of green lentils
  • 2 tsp sumach
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 50g sweet salad mix
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1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Separate the parsley and coriander leaves from their stalks and set the leaves to one side. Finely chop the stalks.
2. Put a deep, heavy-based casserole dish or frying pan on a medium heat and tip in the gnocchetti. Dry fry, stirring regularly, for 2-3 mins till the pasta has picked up a little colour. Tip the pasta out into a bowl and set aside.
3. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan and scrape in the onion, garlic and chopped herb stalks. Season with a little salt. Fry, stirring often, for 5 mins till the onion starts to look glossy and has picked up a little colour.
4. While the onion fries, crumble the stock cube into a heatproof jug and add 1 tbsp of the tamarind paste. Pour in 600ml boiling water and stir to mix.
5. Drain the lentils and stir them, along with the gnocchetti, into the pan. Add 2 tsp sumach and 1 tsp ground cumin. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to mix.
6. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and gently simmer for 10 mins till the pasta is tender and has absorbed the stock.
7. While the pasta and lentils cook, finely grate the zest from the lemon and set aside. Juice half the lemon into a mixing bowl and whisk in ½ tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper to make a dressing. Set aside.
8. Finely chop the coriander and parsley leaves. When the pasta is tender and has absorbed the stock, squeeze in the juice from the remaining lemon half and stir in half the chopped herbs. Taste and add more salt or pepper if you think it needs it.
9. Spoon the pasta and lentils into a couple of warm bowls and top with the remaining chopped herbs. Toss the salad leaves with the dressing and serve on the side.
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Just made this... It's insanely tasty! Really unexpected combo, but this is getting added to the weeknight dinner rotation for sure ??