Fidaush (Lamb with Pasta)

Author: Justin
Serves 4-8
2 lbs. lamb, cut moderately small 1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbl black pepper 1/2 Tbl ground coriander
1/2 cup oil (optional) 1 lb. orzo pasta

Cook lamb and spices (and oil if desired) over moderate heat, until the lamb is completely done.  Remove the meat from the drippings, cover it and set it aside.

Cook the orzo in boiling salted water until al dente (or completely cooked, as desired).  Drain.

Toss the pasta in the lamb drippings, and stir over a moderate fire to coat.  If there are not enough drippings, stretch it with a bit of butter.  Cook for a few minutes, to let the flavors mix.  Add the meat, cook a little longer, and serve immediately.

Notes and Variations

The original calls for the oil, and it helps coat the pasta better; however, Jane finds that it makes the dish too greasy, so we usually leave it out.

This dish has a good spicy edge-kick, and is a particular favorite of Justin's.  In general, the pepper/coriander combination is one of the great secrets of Andalusian cooking, and is consistently wonderful.

This was originally prepared for a 13th-century Andalusian event that Justin cooked for; this recipe is scaled down to 1/6th of the original.


This was reconstructed by Justin from the Andalusian Manuscrito Anonimo, as translated by Charles Perry et al, and published in Cariadoc's cookbook collection, volume II, fifth edition (1992).  It is based on the recipes "Recipe for Fidaush (Noodles)" and "Preparation of the Cooking of Itriyya", on page A-56 of the collection.  The lamb/orzo combination continues to the present day; for example, Jeff Smith's Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines lists a Greek dish of lamb and orzo, which bears some resemblance, although the ingredients are more complex and modern.