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This is our take on a classic Syrian dish called harak osbao. Brown lentils simmered with caramelized onions and a few spices make an earthy base in which fresh pasta is cooked, adding a silkiness to the dish. Sweet, sour and fruity pomegranate molasses (and pomegranate seeds, if using) and chopped fresh cilantro lift and brighten what might otherwise be a dish heavy with starchiness. Some versions of harak osbao are garnished with pieces of crisp fried flatbread that add a satisfying contrast in texture. We borrowed an idea from cookbook author and Middle Eastern food authority Anissa Helou, who suggests frying fresh pasta until crisp, then scattering the pieces on top just before serving.
cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
ounce container fresh fettuccine, noodles cut in half crosswise
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