Stewed kubbeh - easy Middle Eastern dumplings recipe
- Dish type
- Lamb soup
Green hamousta kubbeh. There are many Kurdish tribes in Iraq and each has similar yet distinct recipes attributed only to them.
Cambridgeshire, England, UK
5 people made this
IngredientsMakes: 16 dumplings
- For the shell
- 190g fine cracked wheat, not bulgur, uncooked
- 240ml water
- 165g semolina
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For the meat filling
- 700g fatty stewing meat, such as chuck, shank or neck (I use beef because of availability but lamb is more traditional)
- 50g lamb tail fat
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 15g celery leaves, minced
- For the soup
- 4 green onions
- 60g celery leaves
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch Swiss chard (white beet leaves)
- water as needed
- 2.5L chicken or beef soup stock or water
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 zucchini, chopped into large pieces
- 2 turnips, chopped into large pieces
- 180ml fresh lemon juice
MethodPrep:1hr ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:30min soaking › Ready in:1hr50min
- The shell: Soak cracked wheat in 240ml water for 30 minutes, or until it has absorbed the water and has expanded. It shouldn’t be soupy. Add the semolina and ½ teaspoon salt and knead until the dough is soft and elastic like playdough. Add more water if necessary to create pliable dough. If the dough is too wet, let stand for 30 minutes or add small amounts of semolina. Remember that different batches of semolina and cracked wheat absorb water differently.
- Meat filling: Fry the chunks of meat in lamb fat using a cast iron skillet until the meat is browned on all sides, adding a few drops of water to the pan if the bottom begins to burn. Cover the meat with water and let the water boil down completely and until the meat loses about half of its volume (this is an improvised khelia). Set aside to cool. Fry the onion in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil or lamb fat until dark brown, add to meat. Add the salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add the chopped celery leaves. Cool completely.
- Soup: In the blender add the green onions, celery leaves, garlic and about ½ of the chard leaves. Add a little water and blend until all the vegetables are pulverized. Roughly chop the remaining chard. Boil the chicken stock or water. Add the vegetables and chopped Swiss chard (and whatever didn’t fit into the blender) and cook for about five minutes. Add the pulverized vegetables in the stock and cook for another 10 minutes. Add about 180ml lemon juice. It should be very sour.
- Kubbeh: Take a piece of dough the size of a walnut, shape the dough into a ball, and with your thumb make a hole for the stuffing. The sides of the shell should be thin, about 2mm, as the dough will expand in the soup. A bowl of water is useful to dip your hands in to keep the dough from sticking. Stuff the shell with the cooled meat filling. For every piece of dough, try stuffing with about the same volume of meat. Flatten the stuffed kubbeh into discs. Place them on a lightly oiled surface such as a baking pan. Only when the soup is boiling add the kubbeh. With a long wooden spoon stir the soup gently to make sure the kubbeh have not stuck to the bottom of the pot. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the kubbeh begin to float. Remember the kubbeh will disintegrate if cooked too long.
Remember the kubbeh will disintegrate if cooked too long. Uncooked stuffed kubbeh can be frozen. To freeze put a tray of kubbeh in the freezer until frozen to the touch. Take them out and put them in a freezer bag.
It is also possible to use ground meat instead. Combine all the ingredients for the filling and stuff the dough uncooked. This is a much easier method since the meat is clumped together and not crumbly.
See it on my blog
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The English word samosa derives from Hindi/Urdu word 'samosa',  traceable to the Middle Persian word sanbosag (Persian: سنبوسگ ).  and has the meaning of the "triangular pastry".  Similar pastries are referred to as sambusak in the Arabic-speaking world, Medieval Arabic recipe books sometimes spell it sambusaj.  The word samoosa is used in South Africa.  
The South Asian samosa has a Central Asian and/or Middle Eastern origin.  The samosa appeared in the Indian subcontinent, following the invasion of the Central Asian Turkic dynasties in the region.  A praise of the precursor of the samosa (as sanbusaj) can be found in a ninth century poem by Persian poet Ishaq al-Mawsili. Recipes are found in 10th–13th-century Arab cookery books, under the names sanbusak, sanbusaq, and sanbusaj, all deriving from the Persian word sanbosag. In Iran, the dish was popular until the 16th century, but by the 20th century, its popularity was restricted to certain provinces (such as the sambusas of Larestan).  Abolfazl Beyhaqi (995-1077), an Iranian historian, mentioned it in his history, Tarikh-e Beyhaghi. 
Central Asian samsa was introduced to the Indian subcontinent in the 13th or 14th century by traders from Central Asia.  Amir Khusro (1253–1325), a scholar and the royal poet of the Delhi Sultanate, wrote in around 1300 CE that the princes and nobles enjoyed the "samosa prepared from meat, ghee, onion, and so on".  Ibn Battuta, a 14th-century traveler and explorer, describes a meal at the court of Muhammad bin Tughluq, where the samushak or sambusak, a small pie stuffed with minced meat, almonds, pistachios, walnuts and spices, was served before the third course, of pulao.  Nimmatnama-i-Nasiruddin-Shahi, a medieval Indian cookbook started for Ghiyath al -Din Khalji, the ruler of the Malwa Sultanate in central India, mentions the art of making samosa.  The Ain-i-Akbari, a 16th-century Mughal document, mentions the recipe for qutab, which it says, "the people of Hindustan call sanbúsah". 
The samosa is prepared with an all-purpose flour (locally known as maida) and stuffed with a filling, often a mixture of Diced and cooked or mashed boiled potato (Preferably Diced), onions, green peas, lentils, ginger, spices and green chili.   A samosa can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian, depending on the filling. The entire pastry is deep-fried in vegetable oil or rarely ghee to a golden brown. It is served hot, often with fresh green chutney, such as mint, coriander, or tamarind. It can also be prepared in a sweet form. Samosas are often served in chaat, along with the traditional accompaniments of either a chickpea or a white pea preparation, served with yogurt, tamarind paste and green chutney, garnished with chopped onions, coriander, and chaat masala
In the Indian states of Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand, shingaras (the East Indian version of samosas) are popular snacks found almost everywhere. They are a bit smaller than in other parts of India, with a filling consisting chiefly of cooked diced potato, peanuts, and sometimes raisins.  Shingaras are wrapped in a thin sheet of dough (made of all purpose flour) and fried. Good shingaras are distinguished by flaky textures akin to that of a savory pie crust.
Samosas generally are deep-fried to a golden brown in vegetable oil. They are served hot and consumed with ketchup or chutney (mint, coriander, or tamarind), or are served in chaat, traditionally accompanied by yogurt, chutney, chopped onions, coriander, and chaat masala. Shingaras may be eaten aa a tea time snack. They can also be prepared in a sweet form. Bengali shingaras tend to be triangular, filled with potato, peas, onions, diced almonds, or other vegetables, and are more heavily fried and crunchier than either shingaras or their Indian samosa cousins. Fulkopir shingara (shingara filled with cauliflower mixture) is a popular variation. In Bengal, non-vegetarian varieties of shingaras are called mangsher shingaras (mutton shingaras) and macher shingaras (fish shingaras). There are also sweeter versions, such as narkel er shingara (coconut shingara), as well as others filled with khoya and dipped in sugar syrup.
In the city of Hyderabad, India, a smaller version of samosa with a thicker pastry crust and mince-meat filling, referred to as lukhmi,  is consumed, as is another variation with an onion filling.
In the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, samosas are slightly different, being folded differently, more like Portuguese chamuças, with a different style of pastry. The filling also differs, typically featuring mashed potatoes with spices, fried onions, peas, carrots, cabbage, curry leaves, and green chilis, and is mostly eaten without chutney. Samosas in South India are made in different sizes, whose fillings are influenced by local food habits, and may include meat.
Nowadays, another version of samosa (noodle samosa) is also popular in India. It is a samosa filled with noodles and raw or cooked vegetables as well.
Bulgur Wheat Kibbeh Balls
You may be wondering what else is in the meatball besides bulgur wheat?
The original recipe I found called for mixing the bulgur with water, all-purpose flour, and one egg. This version resulted in meatballs that were so meaty they were practically grisly.
This could also have been because I used a coarser bulgur wheat. This is proof that if you don&rsquot have #1 fine bulgur you can still make this!
I really enjoyed this version, but I thought it could be better, so I ground up some rolled oats in the food processor to replace the all-purpose flour, and then marveled at how I added the wholesomeness of oats to the meal.
(After further experimentation, I concluded that a mixture of half coarse oats and half flour was best so the meatballs hold their shape. In the photos you see them falling apart. This is due to the coarse oats.)
The recipe calls for one egg as a binder, but if you don&rsquot eat eggs you can make a flax egg. See the recipe notes for instructions.
Finally, I added some finely chopped shallots and garlic, and a good bit of salt and pepper. Meatball, now you are talking!
I did find that with the oats only as a binder, the meatball fell apart more than I wanted. You can see it in the photos. Still good. But I recommend using flour, or half flour and half oats.
I really love this entire kibbeh concept, because I am generally a fan of good quality wheat. It tastes wonderful, and it is so satisfying.
Expect more recipes featuring bulgur wheat as a meat substitute to come from Buttered Veg in the future.
American dumplings can be made with eggs, milk, baking powder or even yeast, or just from flour and water. Rolled dumplings are rolled into a tube or flat shape and cut into small pieces for cooking, while dropped dumplings are pulled from the unrolled mound of dough in pieces and formed into small balls by hand before dropping them onto a baking sheet, or directly into a frying pan or pot with other ingredients. [ citation needed ]
Bite-sized, hand-torn pieces of dough are cooked in boiling chicken broth along with a variety of vegetables and, optionally, chunks of chicken to make the dish chicken and dumplings, which is served as a thick soup or stew. Chicken and dumplings is a popular comfort food in the Midwestern and Southern U.S.,    where dumplings are often used as part of the regionally popular Burgoo stew. [ citation needed ]
The baked dumpling is popular in American cuisine. These sweet dumplings are made by wrapping fruit, frequently a whole tart apple, in pastry, then baking until the pastry is browned and the filling is tender. As an alternative to simply baking them, these dumplings are surrounded by a sweet sauce in the baking dish, and may be basted during cooking. Popular flavours for apple dumplings include brown sugar, caramel, or cinnamon sauces. [ citation needed ]
Pop-Tarts are a popular American baked dumpling manufactured by Kellogg Company since its introduction in 1964. The popular American breakfast dumpling has been officially titled a "Toaster Pastry" although it fits the definition of a dumpling. The Pop Tart has been released with many flavors, while mostly fruit, several dessert flavors have been released. 
Another popular American dumpling is the Sealed crustless sandwich. They are mass-produced with peanut butter and jelly by The J. M. Smucker Company as an alternative take on the popular Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 
Boiled dumplings are made from flour to form a dough. A pot of boiling chicken or turkey broth is used to cook this dough. The thickness and the size of the dumplings is at the cook's discretion. It is optional to serve with the meat in the dish or on the side. [ citation needed ]
Tortilla dumplings are made by adding tortillas and fillings to a boiling pot of stock. Popular varieties of Southern dumplings include chicken dumplings, turkey dumplings, strawberry dumplings, apple dumplings, ham dumplings, and even butter-bean dumplings. [ citation needed ]
For my next blog post, I decided to make a dish that is near and dear to my heart one of my ultimate comfort foods – Kibbeh. My sisters and I grew up eating this dish. Rather ravenously, I might add. It’s part of our heritage. Putting it together was a collaborative effort for our parents. Mom always made the filling, Dad put it together – whether as little footalls for the fryer or in the baking dish for the oven. It was always a much appreciated treat.
Kibbeh (كبة) is a popular and much-loved dish throughout the Middle East. It is generally made with cracked wheat (burghul), spices, minced onion and ground meat, gnerally beef, lamb, or goat, or a combination.
It can be shaped into stuffed croquetes (basically little footballs) and deep fried for mezze or made into layers and baked for a main dish. Some folks also eat raw kibbeh. Like Arabic Steak Tartare, minus the quail’s egg and capers.
In Israel, Kubbeh matfuniya and kubbeh hamusta are staples of Iraqi-Jewish cooking. Kubbeh soup, served in many oriental grill restaurants in Israel, is described as a “rich broth with meat-stuffed dumplings and vegetables”.
A Syrian soup known as kibbeh kishk consists of stuffed kibbeh in a yogurt and butter broth with stewed cabbage leaves.
Fried, torpedo-shaped kibbehs have become popular in Haiti, Dominican Republic and South America – where they are known as quipe or quibbe – after they were introduced by Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian immigrants in the early 20th Century.
(some historical information from www.wikipedia.org)
I make this with a combination of beef and lamb. You can use all of one or the other if you like. Goat is also very popular (in the Middle East, anyway) in Kibbeh as well.
As I stated in my Hummous post (3/19/12), I’m pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to my Middle Eastern food. The one thing I have in the traditional recipe I’ve changed is the amount of onion I use. Most recipes can call for up to 4 onions. I use 1 medium-sized one. Otherwise, it’s pretty authentic.
Spices (clockwise from right): Black Pepper Kosher Salt ground Allspice ground Cinnamon
Pine Nuts. These are not inexpensive. They can go for upwards of $20 per pound depending on where you shop. If you decide you don’t want to go to the expense, slivered almonds are a good substitute.
1 1/2 lbs. ground lamb or beef (use 90/10 ground)
1/2 c. pine nuts or slivered almonds
1/2 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp. ground allspice, or to taste
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, or to taste
Raw Kibbeh (the top and bottom layers)
2 lbs. ground lamb or beef (use 90/10 ground beef)
2 cups cracked wheat (burghul)
1 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp. ground allspice, or to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, or to taste
In this recipe, I call for clarified butter. I don’t use much, but it’s a necessary traditional flavor component.
A note on clarified butter: I always like to have it on hand. It has a much higher smoke point than regular butter (450F vs 350F) so it doesn’t burn as quickly. Plus, it’s delicious. There are some chefs who deep-fry in clarified butter. You can buy it off the shelf in Indian and Middle Eastern Groceries (Ghee and Samneh, respectively). When buying, make sure the container indicates that the clarified butter was made with milk. If it says “vegetable” anywhere on the container, it’s essentially margarine.
However, clarified butter is very easy to make at home. It keeps for several months and tastes a whole lot better.
Here’s a lovely essay on clairfied butter from the New York Times (5/6/08): http://tinyurl.com/bobsuje
Basically, clarified butter is butter where the milk solids have been removed. It can be made with either salted or unsalted butter. (I prefer to use unsalted. I can control the amount of salt in my recipes.) It’s always best to use European style butter. It has a lower water content and a higher butterfat content. Not only will it taste better, you’ll end up with a higher yield.
To make clarified butter, slowly melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. (I usually do 2 pounds at a time. I recommend doing at least 1 pound.)
Once the butter has melted, take it off the heat and, with a large spoon, carefully begin skimming the milk fat off the surface.
Milk solids on the surface of the melted butter.
Skimming off the milk solids.
I generally discard the milk solids, but some people do use them for other things. Like spreading on toast or pancakes. It’s certainly up to you.
After skimming off the milk solids.
Carefully pour the butter into a storage container or into a measuring cup. Leave any residual milk solids and water in the saucepan.
About 3 cups clarified butter is my yield from 2 pounds of butter.
What’s left in the saucepan is mostly water and any residual milk solids. Go ahead and discard.
The water and residual milk solids left over.
1. Make the Kibbeh Filling: In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and saute until it begins to soften, about 3 – 5 minutes. Add the meat (in this illustration I used lamb) and cook until it is no longer pink. Add the pine nuts or almonds and cook another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the spices and mix thoroughly. Cook another 3 – 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the filling to begin cooling. (There may be some extra fat in the skillet. If there is, go ahead and drain it off.)
The completed Kibbeh filling. Yummy. I have a hard time not standing there with a spoon over the skillet eating.
2. Make the Raw Kibbeh: Put the bulghur in a fine-meshed strainer and rinse it off under cold running water. Do this until the water runs clear. Let it drain.
Close-up of bulghur wheat. I like to use a medium sized grain. Too fine a grain will give the kibbeh too soft a texture.
Put the bulghur in a medium bowl and cover with water. Let the bulghur soak until it begins to soften about 20 – 30 minutes. Drain in a fine sieve, pressing out as much of the water as possible, and set aside.
3. Take the meat and put into a large bowl. (In this illustration, I used beef for the Raw Kibbeh.). Add the bulghur.
The meat and burghul. Getting ready to mix together.
Now, time to use your hands. Dig in and mix the ingredients together. You want them to be thoroughly mixed. Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, and allspice. Mix until the spices are well incorporated.
The meat, burghul, and spices all mixed together.
Now, you need to taste for seasoning. For me, the best way to taste for seasoning is to take a small amount of the mixture and give it a quick fry on the stove. That way, I’ll get a better idea of how the finished dish will taste once it’s been completely cooked. Plus, I won’t be eating raw ground beef.
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little of the clarified butter. Take a small amount of the mixture and form it into a roughly quarter-sized patty. Once the butter is hot, add the patty to the skillet and cook. It should take about 2 – 3 minutes. Take the patty out of the skillet, allow it to cool for a minute, then taste.
Adjust the seasonings as needed.
Cooking the mixture to taste it for seasoning.
Or, you could be like my mom or my Arab aunties and just know by smell when the seasoning is right. I’ve not ever been able to master that skill.
4. Once you’re happy with the raw kibbeh, prepare a baking dish. (In this illustration, I used a 12″ x 18″ dish, and it was a little large. Use something closer to an 11″ x 15″.) Give it a quick spritz with non-stick spray or grease it with butter or olive oil.
Take half of the raw kibbeh and spread it over the bottom as evenly as you can. It’ll take some doing, but you’ll get there. If you wet or grease your hands, it’ll help make the process a little easier.
Begin preheating the oven to 375F.
The raw kibbeh spread in the bottom of the baking dish.
5. Take the Kibbeh filling and spread it evenly over the bottom layer of the Raw Kibbeh.
Kibbeh filling added to the baking dish.
6. Time to put the top layer on. Because of the filling, you won’t be able to spread the top layer the same way as the bottom. So, a different method is needed.
Take small amounts of the raw Kibbeh and flatten them out into thin pieces and lay each piece on top of the Kibbeh filling.
Be sure to fill in any little gaps as needed. I know that it will seem like you’ll not have enough for the top layer but, if you persevere, you will.
7. Once you have finished completing the top layer, cut through the layers in diamond or square shapes approximately 2 inches each. This will help with even baking and make cutting the finished Kibbeh easier.
If you like, take some extra pine nuts or almonds and press one into the center of each diamond or square. Drizzle a little clarified butter or olive oil over the top.
Kibbeh ready for the oven.
8. Put the Kibbeh in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes, or until it is well-browned. If you like, turn on the broiler for about 3 – 5 minutes after the initial cooking time to make the Kibbeh golden brown.
The Finished Kibbeh. De-licious.
Let the Kibbeh sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
9. It’s a good idea to serve this dish with a bit of yogurt on the side. It will help cut the richness of the dish.
However, I prefer to make a quick salad with the yogurt. I’ve based this on a recipe very similar that Mom always made.
1 cucumber (If you can go with Hothouse [English] or Persian. If you use standard cucumbers, peel and remove the seeds)
3/4 c. plain yogurt (I like to use full fat Greek yogurt)
Salt & black pepper to taste
Cut the cucumber into whatever size pieces you like. Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Adjust the seasonings if you like.
Dinner is ready. It tastes much better than it looks in this photo. I promise.
Jiǎozi – Chinese Pot Stickers
For those of you who have followed me on this blog, you know that I have had many cooking mentors in my life: my mother, father, both grandmothers, Uncle Alfred, my second mom Alberta, and my third mom Ying. Ying is not just a cook, she is really a chef who understands the science of cooking, someone who knows if there isn’t enough leavening, if there is too much sugar or too much butter, and knows how to doctor something that was over or under seasoned. She just knows and can explain it. She was my baking science teacher and my Chinese cooking teacher. She and my Dad (z”l) taught me everything I know about Chinese cooking and I will be forever grateful.
I used to make Chinese food a lot, but I got so wrapped up in learning about other ethnic food when I moved to Israel, I put it on the back burner. Also there aren’t any good Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese restaurants here, so I don’t have much inspiration either. But lately, I have had a craving for Chinese food and so I decided to make one of my Dim Sum favorites, pot stickers. I love them steamed and fried, but decided to make pan-fried ones.
Dim sum is usually linked with the older tradition from yum cha (tea tasting), which has its roots in travelers on the ancient Silk Road needing a place to rest. Thus teahouses were established along the roadside. Rural farmers, exhausted after working hard in the fields, would go to teahouses for a relaxing afternoon of tea. At first, it was considered inappropriate to combine tea with food, because people believed it would lead to excessive weight gain. People later discovered that tea can aid in digestion, so teahouse owners began adding various snacks.
The unique culinary art of dim sum originated with the Cantonese in southern China, who over the centuries transformed yum cha from a relaxing respite to a loud and happy dining experience. In Hong Kong, and in most cities and towns in Guangdong province, many restaurants start serving dim sum as early as five in the morning. It is a tradition for the elderly to gather to eat dim sum after morning exercises. For many in southern China, yum cha is treated as a weekend family day. More traditional dim sum restaurants typically serve dim sum until mid-afternoon. However, in modern society it has become common place for restaurants to serve dim sum at dinner time, various dim sum items are even sold as take-out for students and office workers on the go.
While dim sum (literally meaning: touch the heart) was originally not a main meal, only a snack, and therefore only meant to touch the heart, it is now a staple of Chinese dining culture, especially in Hong Kong.
On a trip, many years ago, to Seattle, I went to a great cookery shop near the famous Pike Place Market that was then only know to locals and a few tourists, Sur La Table. It was and still is a cookery lover’s dream. I came home with three things that I still have: a funky bespoke hat, a 1987 edition of Paula Wolfert’s Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco and Huang Su-Huei’s Chinese Snacks, which is written in Chinese and English. Chinese Snacks contains recipes for many Dim Sum favourites like steamed buns, steamed dumplings, won tons, etc. It has step-by-step photos, but with that said, it really helps to have a Chinese grandmother to show you some of the tricks of folding and shaping the dumplings. If you don’t have access to one, there are YouTube videos that show you how to do it.
My folding technique is not perfect and the dough is not quite as thin as packaged gyoza skins, but I was rather proud of the way mine turned out.
Bean & Lamb Stew (Fasoulia فاصوليا) 2
As comfort foods go, Fasoulia was another one my sisters & I were rewarded with as we grew up. It is a delightful stew consisting of (at least in the Palestinian tradition) of lamb, tomatoes, and green beans.
In fact, the word “fasoulia” in Arabic literally means “bean”.
Fasoulia is a dish that is found in several versions throughout the Middle East, Turkey, North & Sub-Saharan Africa, and southern Europe. There are versions that use white beans (Syria & Lebanon), red beans (Lebanon), with carrots (Ethiopia), and with olives and greens (Greece).
The version I’m making is the one we grew up with (and the one I learned from my mom – who makes the best Fasoulia I’ve ever had, by the way). It’s in the Palestinian style, with lots of tomatoes.
1. You can make this dish vegetarian/vegan by simply omitting the meat and using vegetable broth.
2. This dish is always served over rice. I like to serve over saffron rice (because that was the way my sisters & I grew up eating it). However, if you want to use plain white rice, or even brown rice (especially if you’re making the vegetarian version), go for it.
3. If you don’t like or can’t find lamb, you can use beef. Use chuck. It’s meant for stewing and braising.
4. Use regular, fresh green beans for this dish. Don’t use frozen or haricot vert (French green beans). They won’t hold up to the cooking time.
5. This is generally served with browned pine nuts sprinkled over the top as garnish. However, if you don’t want to go to the expense of or can’t find pine nuts, browned slivered almonds are an excellent substitute.
The lamb. Be sure to trim it of most of the fat. Keep some, but get rid of any really large pieces.
The beans. Use regular green beans not haricot vert or frozen. They won’t stand up to the cooking.
Clockwise from top: salt black pepper allspice
1 med. onion, finely chopped
2 lbs. lamb, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
2 lbs. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ to 1 1/2″ pieces
3 tbsp. olive oil or clarified butter
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes (try to buy without basil if you do get basil, pick out the leaves)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 c. beef or chicken broth
1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil or butter over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook, in batches if needed, until it is browned.
Browning the meat. If you get the bone, use it. It adds a lot of flavor.
2. Add the onions to the saucepan and cook until they are softened, about 5 – 7 minutes.
3. Add the beans and cook another 3 – 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
4. Add the tomatoes, spices, and broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Taste for seasoning.
With the tomatoes, spices, and broth. And away we go.
5. Serve with rice with a few browned pine nuts or slivered almonds on top.
Perfect meal for a cold night.
The word gnocchi may be derived from the Italian word nocchio, meaning a knot in wood,  or from nocca, meaning knuckle.  It has been a traditional type of Italian pasta since Roman times.  It was introduced by the Roman legions during the expansion of the empire into the countries of the European continent. One ancient Roman recipe consists of a semolina porridge-like dough mixed with eggs similar modern dishes include the baked gnocchi alla romana and Sardinian malloreddus  which do not contain eggs.
After potatoes were introduced to Europe, they were eventually [ when? ] incorporated into gnocchi recipes.  Potato gnocchi are particularly popular in Abruzzo, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto, and Lazio.
Storing and packaging Edit
Gnocchi that are home-made are usually consumed on the same day that they are made.
Commercial gnocchi are often sold under modified atmospheric packaging, and may achieve a shelf life of two weeks or more under refrigeration.  
Gnocchi di pane (literally "bread lumps"), derived from the Semmelknödel, is made from breadcrumbs and is popular in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. Another variety from the latter region is spinach gnocchi.
In Austria, gnocchi are a common main or side dish, known by the original name and Austrian variant, nockerl (pl. nockerln). As a side dish, they may accompany main dishes like goulash.
Gnocchi are a very popular and often served as a dish in coastal Croatia, typically being served as a first course or a side dish with Dalmatinska pašticada. The Croatian name for Gnocchi is 'njoki'. 
Gnocchi, known locally as "njoki," are common in Slovenia's Primorska region, which shares many of its culinary traditions with neighboring Italy.
An almost identical creation are 'kluski leniwe' ("lazy dumplings"), but do not contain egg. Often they are spiced with various herbs like pepper, cinnamon or allspice. Similar in shape are kopytka ("hooves"), simple dough dumplings in the shape of a diamond, which do not contain cheese. Both are often served with sour cream, butter, caramelized onion, mushroom sauce, or gravy.
The name is also used in France in the dish known as gnocchis à la parisienne, a hot dish comprising gnocchi formed of choux pastry  served with Béchamel sauce. A specialty of Nice, the gnocchi de tantifla a la nissarda, is made with potatoes, wheat flour, eggs and blette (Swiss chard), which is also used for the tourte de blette. La merda dé can is longer than the original gnocchi.
South America Edit
Due to the significant number of Italian immigrants who arrived in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, gnocchi, ñoqui (Spanish, [ˈɲoki] ) or nhoque (Portuguese, pronounced [ˈɲɔki] ) is a popular dish, even in areas with few Italian immigrants. In Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina there is a tradition of eating gnocchi on the 29th of each month, with some people putting money beneath their plates to bring prosperity.   Indeed, in Argentina and Uruguay ñoqui is slang for a bogus employee (according to corrupt accountancy practices, or, in the public sector, the distribution of political patronage), who only turns up at the end of the month to receive their salary. 
10. Kanafeh – A Popular Dessert Dish
What is it: This is a pastry dessert that can have four variations in the cooking style, viz. fine, rough, mixed and twined. Kanafeh can be served after any meal and is getting more and more popular in the other parts of Middle East.
What does it taste like: The amazing flavor of white-brine cheese (‘Nabulsi’) and rose water, combined with the sugar-based syrup in which the pastry is soaked, will have a long-lasting effect even hours after your meal!
So, these were a few of the classic foods that are enough to lure anyone to book a couple of tickets for a family trip to the country. We suggest you do that and make sure to try all these dishes and more on your extravagant and delicious holiday.