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4 Couscous Recipes For Every Meal Of The Day

Everyone thinks it originated in North Africa, but historically it is one of the most widely used and beloved foods of Sicily. Couscous is coarsely ground semolina made from crushed durum wheat, but it seems that today consumers also love the whole-wheat kind as well as those made from less “normal” cereals such as barley, millet and sorghum. And there is even a kind made with rice that is gluten-free! Try it with these sauces: it’s like bringing an exotic Mediterranean to the table.

MUSSELS, CLAMS, SHRIMP, COCONUT MILK AND CURRY (Serves four)
  • 200 g (7 oz) couscous
  • 300 ml (1 1/3 cup) vegetable stock
  • 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) clams and mussels
  • 300 g (10.5 oz) shelled shrimp
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 250 ml (1 1/8 c) coconut milk
  • sprig of parsley and cilantro
  • 10 g (0.35 oz) octopus ink extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat the stock with the octopus ink. Put it in a bowl with the couscous and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes and then toss the couscous lightly with a fork. Scrape the shells of the clams and mussels under cold running water. Chop the onion and carrot. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot, add the onion and carrot, along with the crushed garlic, and sauté. Add the curry and cook for 2 minutes, and then add the coconut milk. Stir and add the shrimp, mussels and clams, and bring to a boil. Shake the pot and cover. Lower the flame and cook until the shells open. Pour over the couscous, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the chopped cilantro and parsley.

VEGETABLES, CHICKPEAS AND GINGER (Serves four)

  • 200 g (7 oz) couscous
  • 300 ml (1 1/3 cup) vegetable stock 2 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 onion
  • 10.5 oz drained chickpeas
  • 300 ml (1 1/3 cup) tomato purée a piece of fresh thinly sliced ginger 1/2 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • cilantro and parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil and salt

Put the couscous and stock in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes (the liquid must be completely absorbed) and then toss the couscous lightly with a fork. Peel and coarsely chop the vegetables. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot, add the chopped onions, paprika and ginger, and sauté for 10 minutes until wilted. Add the vegetables and chickpeas, stir, and add the tomato purée and sugar. Cook for 30 minutes with the lid slightly open and, a few minutes before turning off the burner, add salt to taste and stir in the chopped cilantro and parsley.

LAMB, PUMPKIN AND APRICOTS (Serves four)

  • 200 g (7 oz) couscous
  • 300 ml (1 1/3 cup) vegetable stock 600 g (21 oz) stewing lamb or veal 2 zucchini
  • 400 g (14 oz) fresh puréed pumpkin
  • 1 onion
  • 8 dried apricots
  • 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 3 peeled plum tomatoes, chopped 1/2 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley and cilantro 1 small stick cinnamon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 packet saffron
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

Dissolve the saffron in the lemon juice. Put the couscous, broth, 2 tablespoons of oil and saffron in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 20 minutes (the liquid must be completely absorbed) and then toss the couscous lightly with a fork. Peel and coarsely chop the vegetables. Brown the meat in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add the onion, anchovies and spices. Stir well and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and apricots, stir to blend and add enough hot water to cover all the ingredients. Cook covered for about 50 minutes with the lid partly on, until the vegetables and meat are soft, adding hot water if necessary. Serve with the couscous.

DATES, POMEGRANATE AND CINNAMON (Serves four)

  • 125 g (4.4 oz) couscous
  • 250 ml (1 1/8 c) milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 50 g (1.75 oz) bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 12 dates
  • 200 g (7 oz) pomegranate seeds 1 tsp honey

Heat the milk with the sugar, cinnamon, chopped chocolate and orange zest. Bring to a boil, add the couscous and cook on low for 5 minutes. The milk must be completely absorbed. Spoon the couscous into single-portion molds and set aside to cool. Chop the dates and heat them in a pan for a few minutes with the orange juice, honey and pomegranate. Turn the couscous onto plates, dust with cocoa and serve with the warm fruit.

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