Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Faux Turkish Manti

I know I mentioned Alex's challenge to make a week's worth of original recipes months ago.  And I also know that we're midway through our annual week's worth of Chinese New Year recipes.  But I have been conceptualizing this recipe for some time now - since before he even mentioned that challenge.  And if I were to publish an actual week's worth of original recipes I would want this to be one of them.  But I don't know if I am ever going to get around to doing it.  However, I will try to make more original recipes of our own from here on out.

We have been buying pre-made Turkish manti (both frozen and dried) from Kalustyan's and making it for years now.  It is one of my favorite quick and easy pre-made meals.  Another favorite is the tarte flambee from Trader Joe's.  I'm not sure when and how I first discovered manti, but I think it was from a tiny whole in the wall Turkish place near my first apartment.  Since moving uptown it has become much harder for us to get our semi-regular manti fix.  The last few times I have gone to Kalustyan's they haven't sold or stocked manti.  It was a huge disappointment.  And it is something of a trek to get down there now.  So I decided that we should make some manti of our own.  Only instead of making traditional manti (which involves making dough and then folding lots of teensy little dumplings), we could make a play on manti - all of the same flavors, but a simpler method.  So instead of making dumplings stuffed with a beef and onion mixture, I picked up some fresh pappardelle and topped it with some sauteed beef and onions.  And then I used the traditional yogurt and butter sauces (or at least what I consider the traditional sauces).  I thought this was a very satisfying play on manti.  The flavors were all there, but it was so easy to put together.  I was incredibly happy with it.  The best part is that from now on, we can make these faux manti at home whenever we want them.  Go us!

Recipe after the jump!

Faux Manti

1 tbsp evoo
3/4 lb ground beef or lamb
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, separated
1 cup lebneh (or other plain whole-milk yogurt)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp tomato paste
3-4 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
generous pinch cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 lb fresh pappardelle

Heat evoo in a large heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Add onions.  Saute, stirring occasionally until fragrant and onions are beginning to turn translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add 1 tbsp minced garlic.  Add ground beef (or lamb).  Saute, stirring to break up any lumps and brown the meat.  Season generously with s&p.  Stir in 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley.

Mash 2 tbsp garlic with 1/2 tsp kosher salt to form a paste.  Stir together the yogurt and garlic in a bowl and let stand at room temperature until ready to use.

In a small skillet over medium-low heat melt the butter until it is a very light brown and smells nutty.  Remove the skillet from heat, and stir in the tomato paste, paprika, cayenne pepper.

In a large kettle of boiling salted water cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions.  Drain pasta and toss with 1 tsp evoo.  Serve the pasta in individual bowls topped with ground beef mixture.  Spoon some of the yogurt sauce over the pasta, drizzle with the butter sauce, and garnish with remaining flat-leaf parsley.


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