Have you ever noticed how a plane goes quiet when you are about to take off? I recently travelled to Rome for work and as I wasn’t wrestling with my 3-year-old to stay in his seat or plying him with raisins and stories I had the chance to take in my surroundings. It was very quiet.
I absolutely adore Rome. It is arguably in my top 5 cities to visit for so many reasons, one of which is the food. Not the only reason. Just one of.
Italian food has so many similarities to Persian food in the way it is prepared and enjoyed. Both with passion and conversation! The Italians love to serve huge bowls of amazing tasting food and enjoy with nice wine and great company. Both of which no meal should ever be without!
I always say that Persian food is best eaten with large groups of people. Every meal time is a social event. My husband and I often just put a pot on the table and share whatever I have made with two forks and a glass of wine each. We did exactly that tonight!
As with most of my favourite meals, my favourite Italian meal comes with a story. Mostly the food I love is not just about the flavour. Obviously, the flavour is paramount and if I have enjoyed a lovely view and great conversation but the food is rubbish then it won’t be high up on my list of inspirations or a meal to recreate. However, the ones that stand out most of the time do so because all the elements of a great meal have come together and etched it in my memory.
My first experience of Rome was when my husband took me away on my 30th birthday for a week. I loved every second of this beautiful city! We took in all the sights. Did all the touristy and non-touristy things. Then we ate. We shared a Diavola pizza and a carafe of red wine at the base of the Colosseum. It was the most perfect meal. Simple. Delicious and I remember smiling a lot!
On my most recent trip, (and having seen all of the sites before) with only an hour of spare time I did exactly that. I sat and refreshed my memory whilst enjoying my pizza and watched the old city in full flow. It was utter bliss for that snatched slice of time.
So, in tribute to my travels of late, I have been inspired to create a Persian/ Middle Eastern Pizza/ Flatbread. I hope you enjoy as much as we did. From my table to yours!
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Persian Lamb & Advieh Flatbread
75gm of Greek yoghurt
350 gm of plain flour
150ml of warm water
500 gm of minced lamb
2 finely sliced cloves of garlic
2 tsp of red advieh
1 tsp of turmeric
1 finely sliced white onion
Fresh sprigs of mint and coriander
Make the base by combining the ingredients and needing until you have a round ball of dough. Leave to settle in a clean bowl covered in cling film whist you cook the topping.
Fry off the onions and garlic until clear. Add the lamb, turmeric and advieh and fry off until browned.
Remove from the heat and set to one side.
Now portion off the dough into 4 balls and roll out into 4 flat pizza bases. Add plain flour to the work surface and rolling-pin to stop sticking. Add a bit of olive oil to a heavy bottomed pan and fry off for about 30 seconds on each side .
Next add your lamb mix to the base. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 10 minutes until the crust starts to bubble and brown.
Whilst this is cooking mix the dried mint with the remaining Greek yoghurt and set aside.
Remove from the oven and dollop with Greek yoghurt, sprinkle with pomegranate, pine nuts and the fresh herbs, slice and serve!