Total time: 5 hours

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: From Farid Zadi. You may want to prepare the ras el hanout, harissa and the sweet tomato sauce the day before, then finish on the day of serving. Serve with harissa. (Harissa and ras el hanout also are available at Middle Eastern stores; harissa is available at Surfas in Culver City, Joan's on Third in West Hollywood and Nicole's in Pasdadena.)

Sweet tomato sauce



2 pounds tomatoes

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Sugar, optional

Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic and 1 1/2 cups of water in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Then purée the mixture in a blender or food processor or with an immersion blender. Pour the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove tomato seeds and skin. Taste and add up to 2 teaspoons sugar as needed (fully ripe tomatoes should not need it). You should have 2 cups of tomato sauce. If you have more, return it to the saucepan and reduce to 2 cups, stirring occasionally.

Lamb shank tagine



4 to 6 lamb shanks (3 to 4 1/2 pounds)

3 teaspoons ras el hanout, divided (see recipe)

Freshly ground black

pepper

Salt

6 tablespoons olive oil,

divided