• scallops in pasta

Scallops with pasta

Tripoli is Lebanon’s largest Northern city. I remember spending a weekend there  as a teenager with a  family  whose father was a business associate of my father’s. I thought the city was magical.  My friend Aboud took me on long walks  through the old city. I was mesmerized ! the Citadel of St. Gilles […]

By |January 12th, 2015|Salty|4 Comments
  • blog-harak-osba3o

Lentil stew Damascus-style (Harak Osba’o)

The name of this dish, harak osba’o, literally means “he burnt his finger” ; in other words, it was so irresistible, he (or she) could not wait for it to cool. In American terms, finger-licking good!  There are several dishes bearing that name in both Lebanese and Syrian cuisine but this one really deserves it. […]

By |March 10th, 2014|Salty|12 Comments
  • Manti-on-plate-dup-copy



Manti or mante is a traditional Armenian dish; the closest Lebanese or Syrian equivalent to manti is shish barak, yet they are definitely not the same!

To make manti, you need the patience of an angel or (in my case) willing helpers; there were four of us filling these tiny little boats of dough with […]

By |January 9th, 2014|Salty|19 Comments
  • penne-with-labneh-sauce

Penne with labneh tomato sauce


This is pasta in a jiffy with only 4 ingredients. The sauce is like the Italian vodka sauce, except I replaced the vodka with arak (Lebanese national drink with a strong taste of licorice); here only a teaspoon was enough.  I switched to labneh (drained yogurt) instead of cream. Happy Eid el-Futr to everyone who celebrates! […]

By |August 8th, 2013|Salty|11 Comments
  • spaghetti-with-sesame-seeds

Spaghetti with tuna, Asian-style

 I tend to cook Mediterranean food most of the time (duh).  I just had a can of tuna and spaghetti in the pantry, nothing else, and figured I’d make  spaghetti Asian-style, with a splash of soy sauce and lots of toasted sesame seeds. Luckily,  the garden in the mountain was in full bloom and […]

By |July 1st, 2013|Salty|9 Comments
  • plate-of-tagliatelle

Tuna sauce on pasta


This is a poor man’s pasta dish that delivers a refined taste that will have you begging for more. If you can, use spinach tagliatelle or the best egg pasta you can find; luckily here in Beirut boxed pasta comes straight from Italy and this one cooks in 2 minutes. That leaves you 20 […]

By |November 13th, 2012|Salty|7 Comments
  • pasta-with-eggplant-sauce

Pasta a la gypsy

This crop of eggplants just won’t quit. A pasta dish was in order. This one was inspired by a recipe in an  ELLE cookbook  for an eggplant gratin called la Bohémienne (the gypsy). The recipe called for eggplants, tomatoes, onions and anchovies. Add whole-wheat penne in the mix and you’ve got dinner covered. INGREDIENTS: […]

By |November 9th, 2012|Salty|14 Comments
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Pasta with shrimp and avocado sauce


Summer is a perfect season for relaxed, no-fuss, cooking; this salad was prepared at the last minute with ingredients in my pantry and freezer; shrimp, whole-wheat boxed pasta, broccoli, avocados, and a medley of basic spices. Hearty but not heavy. Served with an avocado sauce just because I had some avocado laying around, and […]

By |July 25th, 2012|Salty|12 Comments
  • a-platter-of-pasta

Pasta shells in pumpkin sauce


This is probably the easiest pasta to prepare and frankly one of the tastiest. Simply cook some pumpkin, mash it and combine it with the pasta. Sprinkle cheese, some toasted nuts and dinner is ready!


6 oz. of shell or tube pasta 
1 pound of cut-up and peeled pumpkin
6 oz. of cheese (could be any melting […]

By |February 29th, 2012|Others|24 Comments

Bulgur, chard and pasta pilaf

Quick,  easy and rustic. Fry some chopped onion and when golden cook the chard a few minutes;  add the pasta then the bulgur and 15 minutes later, the dish is done.

Serve as a side dish with a roast chicken or some fish. Could also be used as a side with a  turkey or […]

By |December 16th, 2011|Others|18 Comments