This dish is speaks to the history of Italian presence in Somalia and the introduction of pasta to the country. The bananas and lemon wedges served with the pasta add a distinct Somalian flair.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (7 votes)


  • 2 brushed potatoes, peeled, cut in 1.5-cm cubes
  • 1 bunch coriander, roots cleaned, leaves picked
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, coarsely grated
  • 140 g tomato paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 2 beef stock powder cubes
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 500 g penne pasta
  • 2 bananas, to serve
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil for the pasta.
  2. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold and bring to the boil. Simmer until nearly tender, then drain.
  3. Place the coriander roots and garlic in a mortar and pestle and pound into a paste.
  4. Heat most of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add pounded garlic and coriander and stir for 1–2 minutes or until soft. Add the grated tomato and tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant, then gently stir in the potatoes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat another large frying pan over high heat. Add the remaining oil and cook the mince, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon until browned. Stir into the tomato mixture with the beef stock and curry powder. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Cook the penne in the boiling water until tender. Drain. Add to the beef mixture and gently stir until well combined. Scatter with coriander leaves and serve with the bananas and lemon wedges.


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Photography by Adam Liaw.