MANTI – deconstructed

I LOVE Manti, but as you might recall, my first attempt
at making it with wonton wrappers as a shortcut, led to overdone, hard to chew
morsels. Soaking them in chicken broth helped soften them, but generally
speaking, I was disappointed.


My plan was to try again making the dough from scratch,
but that hasn’t happened yet. Alas, my cousin Ron Takakjian came to the rescue.
Just as I have prepared ‘kufteh deconstructed
’, and ‘dolma
deconstructed ’ in the past, Ron suggested a ‘manti deconstructed’
recipe. 

There are easy-manti recipes floating around out there
using shell-shaped pasta stuffed with the traditional manti filling, then
baking. The recipe Ron sent is even easier than that.
I used my own manti filling and yogurt sauce recipes, but
applied Ron’s layering technique to achieve the manti taste without the manti
fuss. Try it!
Manti Deconstructed (image from www.dinnerfiles.com)

Manti
Deconstructed

Serves 3 to 4

Filling Ingredients:
1 lb. ground lamb, beef, or turkey
1 large onion, finely chopped
1or 2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt, black pepper, Aleppo red pepper, and allspice to
taste
½ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped

Filling Directions:
1. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium
heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until onions begin to soften, about 3
minutes. Add ground lamb, salt, pepper, Aleppo red pepper, and allspice to
taste. Cook until lamb is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain any fat. Stir
in parsley and cook for 2 more minutes. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Pasta:
½ lb. small pasta of your choice (Small shells, rotini,
or bowties work well)
Cook according to package directions; drain and place in
a serving platter or bowl, keeping it warm.

Yogurt-Garlic Sauce (Suggestion:
Make this in advance.)
Ingredients:
16 oz. plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt to taste
Directions:
1. In a small mixing bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice,
garlic, and salt. Mix well.
2. Chill until ready to serve, allowing flavors to blend.
Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Assembling Directions:
Evenly distribute the lamb mixture over the hot, cooked pasta. Top with yogurt
sauce. 
Serve immediately.

Optional step: In
a small saucepan, melt 3 Tbsp. butter over medium-low heat, add ½ tsp. crushed
dried mint and a dash of Aleppo red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until butter
turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Do NOT allow butter to burn. Drizzle melted butter
over top.
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2 Comments

  1. Ara December 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Here is a suggestion: Buy some medium-sized conch-shell pasta (conchiglie) and cook them according to the package directions. Then fill them with the filling. You can then layer the "manti" in a pan and bake in the oven until crisp. Proceed as you would with regular "manti".

    Reply
    1. Robyn December 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Always a good alternate preparation. Thanks, Ara!

      Reply

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