Manti (Turkish Ravioli)
From Matthew Altizer
The recipe for manti differs from region to region; some villages make them as small as chickpeas, while others make them much larger. Using wonton wrappers is definitely not authentic, but the texture and size of the pasta is very similar to what is served in Manti houses in Istanbul.
- 1 c. best quality yogurt
- 2 T. milk
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1/2 t. crushed fennel seeds
- 2 large strips of orange zest
- 1 small tin whole tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. butter, browned
- 1/2 lb. ground lamb
- 2 T. finely grated onion
- 1/2 t. ground allspice
- 1 t. dried mint
- 2 T. finely chopped Italian parsley
- 2 T. water
- 32 wonton wrappers
- 1 egg yolk
- kosher salt, black pepper and Marash chile flakes* to taste
Whisk together the yogurt, milk and garlic. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, add the olive oil, fennel seeds and orange zest and place over medium heat. Cook gently until the fennel and orange are fragrant. Add the tomatoes, crushing them into the pan with a fork. Season with salt and pepper and gently simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes until it thickens slightly. Set aside.
To brown the butter, place it in a small sauté pan over low heat and simmer very gently until it browns slightly and starts to smell nutty, set aside.
Combine the lamb with the onion, allspice, mint, parsley and water in a bowl and mix gently but thoroughly. To make the manti, brush two adjoining edges of a wonton wrapper with egg yolk, then place a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of the wrapper. Fold one corner over the filling, forming a triangle. Gently squeeze the edges together, pushing out any air from the ravioli – but make sure not to squeeze any of the filling out. Repeat with the remaining wrappers. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season generously with salt and cook the manti for 5 to 6 minutes, until the pasta is just tender and the filling is cooked. Drain the manti well and divide them among four bowls. Finish each bowl with a spoonful of tomato sauce, the yogurt garlic blend and the browned butter. Sprinkle with chile flakes, salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4 as a starter.
*Marash chile flakes are from Turkey. They’re a touch milder than the grocery store variety. Find them at Silk Road Spice Merchant.