It’s comfort food if it involves pasta. Its comfort food if it means dirtying as little dishes as possible (because we all hate cleaning up!). It’s comfort food if it's warm and flavourful, and leaves you feeling content in the end, like everything is right in the world, even if only temporarily. Now, this this dish might seem a extravagant dish, given its layers and slightly exotic combination of ingredients, but it is in fact a one-pot meal made mostly from pasta—comfort food extraordinaire. Hence... Orzo! This is my first orzo recipe on the blog. Known in Egypt as ‘lessan ‘usfuur’,...

 Meatballs are as timeless as they are delicious. There are so many variations for the recipe that it’s hard to determine which way is right and which the original recipe is. Traditionally in Egypt though, we make what they call ‘Dawuud Pasha’; basically, these adorable little meatballs, made with ground rice, a ton of minced garlic and onion, and cooked in thick red sauce and served over white rice. That’s the way I remember mum used to make it, and despite her no-fail recipe, every family I’ve ever encountered made it differently – as does every restaurant in town.

As per usual though...

 Quinoa has been around for ages but with the fitness fads that are taking over the social scene here, the name has popped up more often than usual. In Cairo, more stores carry this grain -- which, if we delve into a little history, was cultivated over 5000 years ago and known amongst the Incas as the ‘mother of all grains’. More and more research is turning up, singing its praises. In a nutshell, quinoa is naturally gluten-free and packed with nutrients, and to quote Medicine News Today: “it is one of only a few plant foods that are considered a complete protein, containing all nice e...

 I know you’re busy, and exhausted, and want something hearty without having to stand for ages and ages in the kitchen and hence, these one-pot meals — they mean ease, speed, and less stuff to wash after. Can’t beat that! This recipe is joining in with the one-pot series that you’ll soon be seeing on this blog. And many of those recipes will feature pasta as the protagonist (apologies to Italian friends that will likely want to hurl a pot or two at me). I have adapted these recipes for the particular purpose of practicality.

 

While the recipe speaks for itself —i.e. pasta, tomatoes, bas...

Well it's Ramadan, and I've been bombarded with one of two questions - what can I make that's easy, and what can I make that's fast? If you live in Cairo, you know the do - you work, you attempt to rush back home through an avalanche of traffic where everyone else is also attempting to rush back home, and you've got less than a few hours to conjure something up before the sun sets. If you've got visitors, you know you're kind of screwed. Well... no more. The oven and a nice roll of aluminum foil are your best friends tonight. 

 

Actually, they're your friends every night. For the longest...

 When I was a kid, there was a TV show called 'Perfect Strangers'... it was an epic comedy at the time, where the plot revolved around the life of two cousins - one from Chicago, and one from some unknown Mediterranean island called 'Mepos'. The cousin from Mepos had a terrible English accent, and when he was posing as a cleric in one of the episodes, he announced 'We are gathered here today in Holy Macaroni'. The phase kind of stuck around...

 

When in doubt, head for the pasta stash. It is, in every way, appreciatively holy - it saves time, it's economic, and there are so many way...

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