Simona and I love the middle-eastern cuisine. Ptitim, also known as giant couscous or pearl couscous, is a type of toasted pasta shaped like little balls. It became popular in Israel during the 1950s, when rice was scarce, with the name of “Ben-Gurion rice”.
As pasta, ptitim is very versatile: it cooks quickly and can be combined with any type of ingredients. We like it with a mix of Mediterranean vegetables, like black olives, bell peppers, onion, corn, green beans, sweet peas, carrots, celery… It works with anything you have in the fridge, as long as you thinly chop the ingredients.
The result is a colorful dish with plenty of taste. As it is enjoyable either hot or cold, ptitim is ideal for office lunches. For this preparation, I used whole wheat ptitim, but any variety is good.
- 1 cup whole wheat ptitim
- 1 teaspoon vegetable powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6-8 black olives
- 2-3 tablespoons corn
- 1 small onion
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green onion
- A squirt of soy cream
Wash and dice the onion, green onion, and pepper. Dice them into small pieces. Put a little olive oil in a large skillet with a fitted top. Heat to low and add the onion and peppers. Cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes, until they soften.
Add the ptitim and cover with a little water. Add the vegetable powder, paprika, and turmeric. Let it cook on a low to middle heat with no cover. Add more water if the ptitim is not well cooked.
As the water evaporates, add the corn and black olives. Stir well, and take off the heat. Stir in the green onion. Let the ptitim settle for 1-2 minutes before serving. You can serve it with a squirt of soy cream on top.