Rishdat Kaskas – Libyan Home Made Pasta

Rishta or Rishda is a favorite Libyan/North African dish which we here at Libyan Food have received many requests for. Well finally, here it is! Rishda is a fresh pasta of very thin noodles. It is steam cooked in a couscousiere and served with the onion-rich sauce called busla.
Known in Libya as Rishda Imbaukha (steamed rishda) or Rishdat Cascas (couscousiere rishda) it should not be confused with Makaruna Imbaukha (steamed pasta), which is made with dry angel-hair pasta. You can find two different recipes of Makaruna Imbaukha on this blog, here and here.


Serves 4-6 persons
For the pasta:
750 g white flour
1 egg  (beaten)
1 tea spoon salt
200 ml water (enough to make a hard dough)
Base sauce to cook meat:
4-6 lamb meat pieces
1 medium onion finely chopped
3-4 table spoon tomato paste
1 tea spoons each of:
  • black pepper
  • turmeric
  • red chili powder
  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • 11/2 liter boiling water
Busla/Onion sauce:
4-5 medium onion cut into thin wings
2 cups chick peas soaked over night
1 tea spoon ground cloves
2 sticks cinnamon or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
                Mix the flour with the egg and salt. Add water gradually till you get a  hard dough.

Knead the dough. On a clean surface sprinkle cornflour under and over the dough, and roll out. 
Cut into strips and put through a pasta machine repeatedly, first to thin out and the second time to produce thin noodles similar to angel hair pasta. 
Put onions, spices, tomato paste and oil at the bottom part of the couscousiere

Stir and add the meat till the meat is cooked.

Cook the chickpeas. Slice the onions into rings and add to the sauce.

Place the rishda in the couscousiere and cook uncovered for around 15 minutes. Take down the couscousiere and pour the rishda into a bowl to fluff or separate the noodles to make sure they are not clumping. Put the rishda back in the couscousiere and cook again till fully cooked, around 20 minutes.

Add potatoes and pumpkin to the sauce at the bottom part of the couscousiere.

Take off the rishda, pour into a wide bowl if communal or separate plates. Pour the sauce over the noodles/pasta, and then add the meat and potatoes and pumpkin.