Lentils with Pasta and Caramelized Onions (Rishta Bi Addas)

Rishta bi addas, or lentils with pasta and caramelised onions, is a tasty pasta salad style recipe. An interesting side dish idea inspired by Moroccan cuisine.

From the book Arabesque
Claudia Roden


Rishta bi addas can be eaten hot or at room temperature, like a pasta salad. The tagliatelle is usually cooked in the same water as the lentils which gives the pasta a pleasant earthy colour and flavour, but you can also boil them separately.

Serves 4-6


1 large onion, sliced
6-7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
100g large green or brown lentils
100g dry tagliatelle nests
salt and black pepper
large handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley


Fry the onion in 2 tbsp oil until brown and caramelized, stirring often. It is a good idea to start with the lid on – this allows it to soften more quickly.

Rinse the lentils and boil them in plenty of water until they are only just tender. Some brands take as little as 10-15 minutes, others take much longer. You should read the instructions on the packet and watch the cooking carefully.

Break the tagliatelle into pieces by crushing the nests in your hand and drop the pieces into the pan with the lentils – there should be enough water to cover them. Add salt, stir and boil vigorously until the pasta is cooked al dente.

Drain quickly, and toss gently with the remaining olive oil, a little salt and pepper, the fried onions and the parsley.

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