Cooking with the Libaliano Kitchen

We hosted today the last in the summer cooking workshops: 'The best of Libaliano'. We named it this way, not because our recipes cannot get any better but because we have picked key dishes from the Italian and Lebanese kitchens: kibbe and spaghetti al pomodoro
With a twist to traditional pasta, we rolled spaghetti with slices of grilled aubergines.

We formed basic kibbe dough like a sausage, stuffed it with pistachios and baked it.We then sliced it into rounds and served it with courgette fatte. Substantial and light kibbe roll is great in a picnic.

Aubergine and Spaghetti Rolls

200 g spaghetti
2 large aubergines
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled, core removed and finely chopped
500 g fresh tomatoes, skinned and seeded
4 generous tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan
1 mozzarella, diced
Fresh basil leaves
Sea salt
Black pepper
Extra virgin oil

Serves 5 to 6
  1. Slice the aubergines lengthwise, about ½ cm thick and grill them for 2 to 3 minutes on both sides in a heavy based griddle.
  2. Arrange the aubergine slices in a dish, sprinkle them with salt and oregano and a drizzle  2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the onion over low heat for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt and cook over low heat, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  7. In a large pot, bring plenty of water to the boil. Add salt and cook spaghetti al dente. Strain through a colander and reserve 50 ml of cooking water. 
  8. mix the reserved cooking water with a third of it quantity in oil.
  9. Return spaghetti to the pan and add the water and oil mix. Toss and dress with half of the tomato sauce. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan.
  10. Using a fork, arrange spaghetti over each aubergine slice. Dot with 2 to 3 die of mozzarella and roll. Place each roll in an oven dish. Repeat until you finished all the ingredients.
  11. Arrange the remaining tomato sauce on top of the aubergine rolls. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  12. Garnish with mozzarella and basil.
  13. Serve warm.
Kibbe and pistachio roll

500 g minced steak

250 g burghol

1 small onion

1 tablespoon mint leaves

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon salt

100 ml light olive oil

100 g pistachios

Cooking time: 20 minutes
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves 8

  1. Place the meat in a dish and leave in the freezer for 15 minutes. In a food processor place the onion and spices and mint and process to a puree.
  2. Take the meat out of the freezer and process in a mixer together with the onion puree. Keep blending until you get a homogenous dough-like mixture. The meat should be sticky and a dark pink colour. It should also have an even colour and a uniform texture. If you can see darker particles, this means that the meat has not been ground thoroughly. Process a while longer. Transfer to a large mixing bowl when ready.
  3. Wash burghol and strain. Using your hands knead the burghol and meat mixture until well combined. 
  4. Divide the meat in two portions. 
  5. Oil a large baking sheet and place it on a work surface. 
  6. Spread one part of the meat onto the baking sheet.
  7. Flatten the meat with your hands to make a rectangular shape about 1 cm thick. Place the pistachios in the middle.
  8. Hold and lift the wider side of the baking sheet and gradually roll the meat over until you form a sausage-like shape. Make sure that the baking sheet is not rolled in the meat. 
  9. Twist the ends to secure the paper in place and cover with aluminium foil. 
  10. Repeat with the remaining meat.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake in the centre oven for 10 minutes; take out of the oven, remove both wrappings and bake for further 10 minutes.
  12. Take out of the oven leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  13. Serve warm sliced into rounds with yogurt or salad. 

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