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Makaronah bil laban

You’ll have it ready before any food can be delivered and, better yet, you won’t feel guilty after eating it!

I am sure everyone has had days when they have had no time to cook, or just don’t feel like it, but still long for a home cooked meal rather than eating out. This is the recipe I turn to on those particular days that I want “home cooked food” but just don’t feel like cooking.

This dish comes together in minutes and is delicious and satisfying. You’ll have it ready before any food can be delivered and, better yet, you won’t feel guilty after eating it!

I do not know the exact origin of this dish; for me it originated in my grandmother’s house. This dish is one of my dad’s favourites, as well as my husband’s so I knew I had to master it and had high standards to live up to. Lucky for me, makaronah bil laban is easy and delicious.

As you don’t cook the sauce, this dish is almost like a pasta salad. It can be served hot or room temperature, and is even delicious the next day cold for lunch at work. It is a perfect side dish at any party and a people pleaser. I personally haven’t met anyone who hasn’t loved it!

To maximise the time making this dish and to make sure it is done in the fastest time possible, I make sure I boil the water in a kettle before putting it in the pot. While I wait for the water to boil in the kettle, I get the meat mixture ready. Once the pasta is in the water, I make the yogurt sauce and toast the nuts. If you do this, then every component is done at the same time and all that is left is assembly, and voila! Dinner is served!

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  •  500g macaroni pasta
  • 300g minced meat (beef or lamb)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Toasted almonds, to taste
  • Toasted pine nuts, to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Yogurt sauce

  • 500g plain yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

1. Cook pasta, drain, coat with olive oil to stop from sticking, and set aside.

2.To make the meat topping, put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the meat. Once cooked, drain excess liquid, add the other tablespoon of olive oil and cook with the onions and garlic until soft. Add the spices, taste, and adjust. Set aside.

3.Make the yogurt sauce by mixing all the ingredients together and taste to make sure it is to your liking.

4.To assemble, mix the yogurt sauce with the pasta and put in a serving dish. Top with the meat mixture and garnish with the nuts and parsley. Enjoy!

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