Preparation / Directions:
Oven temperature: 180C (350F) Cooking time: 2 hours
Have meat retailer cut chops about 4 cm (1-1/4 inches) thick. Alternatively purchase a leg of lamb and have it cut into 6 pieces.
Place lamb in a baking dish and spread or pour oil or butter on top. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.
Add onion to dish and return to oven for further 10 minutes. Add tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon bark and salt and pepper to taste. Baste meat with liquid and cook for further hour until meat is tender, adding a little of the water or stock if necessary.
When meat is cooked add water or stock and stir in pasta. Cook for further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding a little more liquid if mixture looks dry. When pasta is tender, sprinkle cheese over pasta and return to oven for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
NOTE: This is a popular restaurant dish in Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. The pieces of meat are placed in individual casserole dishes after the initial cooking, and the sauce, pasta and water or stock added to each dish, then cooking completed. In the home I suggest dividing the meat and pasta after it is cooked and just before adding the cheese. Return to oven for cheese to melt.
Source: The Complete Middle East Cookbook - by Tess Mallos ISBN: 1 86302 069 1