Yield
Serves 6-8 as a starter; 4 as a main course
Time
20 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking, 40 minutes total

Savory Middle Eastern Flatbread is also known as lahmacun, lachmagine, lahm b’ajeen and a variety of other names, depending on the provenance of the particular recipe. The common denominators here are ground lamb and a deep, almost caramelized tomato flavor. The rich tomato flavor in this recipe is thanks to two sweet and tangy ingredients: tomato paste and tamarind paste.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, minced  
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 6 ounces ground lamb 
  • 1/2 cup high-quality canned, diced tomotoes, drained of juice
  • 1/2 cup pure tamarind paste      
  • 2 tablespoons high-quality tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 recipe Pizza Crust, or one 1-pound store-bought pizza dough (defrosted if frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450°F. 

In a large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly golden, 8-9 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 additional minute.

Transfer to a food processor, cool slightly, and pulse with the lamb, diced tomatoes, tamarind, tomato paste, parsley, salt, cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon until well incorporated but not a paste, about 15-20 pulses.

Spread the dough onto a 13-inch round pizza pan or rimmed 10 x 15-inch baking sheet, using 1 tablespoon olive oil to help. Spread the lamb mixture evenly onto the pizza, leaving a 1-inch border of dough around the edges. Bake until the crust is golden and the topping is cooked through, about 16 minutes.

Remove the pizza from the oven briefly and preheat the broiler. Broil the pizza until the color deepens and the edges begin to darken, 2-3 minutes, being careful not to burn it. Garnish with parsley and pine nuts.