The ultimate Egyptian street food, this rib-sticking dish consists of two pastas, two pulses, fried onions for a crunchy contrast, and a spiced tomato sauce that ties it all together.
- 4 oz. ditalini or macaroni, cooked
- 2 oz. spaghetti, cooked
- 4 oz. brown lentils, rinsed
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 cup cooked basmati rice (optional)
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
- 2 cups canola oil
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground ginger
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Combine ditalini and spaghetti in a bowl; set aside. Put lentils and 4 cups water into a 2-qt. saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 20 minutes. Season lentils with salt, drain, and transfer to a bowl along with rice and chickpeas; set aside.
Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Put flour into a bowl, add onions, and toss to coat. Working in 2 batches, add onions to hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer onions to paper towels to drain; reserve oil.
Spoon 4 tbsp. oil from skillet into a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, cumin, cayenne, and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and vinegar and bring to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and remove from heat. To serve, divide pasta mixture between 4 bowls; top with lentil mixture and fried onions. Spoon tomato sauce over each bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.