A cousin of couscous, these fat semolina balls are an Algerian classic. This vegetarian recipe substitutes the meat for a handful of spinach to create a low-fat yet nutritious meal.
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
- 1 cup of green beans
- 1 cup of chickpeas (tinned or soaked and boiled)
- 1 stick of celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 courgette
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 handful of chopped spinach
- 3 cups of berkoukes (also known as “peppercorn pasta” or “pasta bullets”)
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 2 teaspoons of ras al-hanout
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Finely chop the onions and celery and cook over a medium heat in the olive oil under soft and translucent.
- Crush the garlic, add to the saucepan and cook for another few minutes.
- Dice the carrot, tomatoes and courgette and chop the green beans. Add to the pan and cover with boiling water.
- Add the chickpeas, tomato paste, ras al-hanout, paprika and salt to taste and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Once the vegetables are cooked through – 30 to 40 minutes – and the tomatoes have dissolved, add the berkoukes and simmer until tender. Add boiling water from the kettle if necessary to create your preferred consistency.
- Just before serving, add a handful of chopped spinach and stir through.
- Check the seasoning and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
You can mix up the vegetables in this dish depending on what’s in season and what you have at home. It’s a great way to use up any odds and ends you have in the fridge.