KUSHARY: This traditional dish is made with rice, lentils and pasta and topped with roasted tomatoes. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Servings: 3 cups each kushary and sauce

Note: While the tomatoes are cooking, start preparing the kushary. Clarified butter can be found at Trader Joe's and select gourmet markets. Harissa can be found at Middle Eastern groceries.

Roasted tomato sauce

2 white onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 1/4 pounds tomatoes (about 12 plum), cored and chopped

1 cup water


1. In a medium, heavy-bottom pot, cook the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until they start to turn a deep brown, about 45 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook just until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes and water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the tomatoes soften completely and begin to break apart, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

4. Purée the tomato mixture in a blender until smooth. (Be careful not to fill the blender more than 1/3 of the way or steam may force the liquid to fly out of the blender. And always cover the lid with a towel when blending hot liquids to prevent splashes and spills.)

5. Season to taste with salt and keep in a warm place until ready to serve.

Kushary and assembly

1/2 cup basmati rice

1/4 cup straight cut macaroni