This recipe came from the article, Turkish Dumplings, Deconstructed, in the, A Good Appetite column in the NY Times, by Melissa Clark, in the Fall of 2008. It was her homage to an authentic Turkish dish, manti, with her own unique spin, the inclusion of roasted eggplant into the lamb mixture. It sounded divine, so I gave it a whirl and it was a huge hit. I liked that Melissa afforded us the option of using less butter if you choose, and I found that 2 to 3 tbsp is sufficient. I also found that if one doesn't have or like eggplant, zucchini is a nice substitute, and have found that 3 zucchini, cut into 1 inch cubes, salted and left to drain a bit on paper toweling (don't leave this out, otherwise you're left with roasted mush), then coated with 2 to 3 tbsp oil, then roasted as per directions, works very nicely. Oops, almost forgot. Melissa's recipe doesn't mention draining the fat from the cooked lamb, but I altered the recipe to do so, as I felt concerned about leaving it in, so I drain it.
Melissa provided the tip, "Turkish or Aleppo (Syrian) red pepper flakes are sold at specialty markets and at kalustyans.com. You may also substitute ground chili powder." She also suggested one not use crushed red pepper flakes, as they would be too spicy, but when I made this for the first time, I only had crushed red pepper flakes at hand, so I used slightly less and it was just fine
- 1 large eggplant, about 1 lb, in 1/2 -inch cubes
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher or coarse sea salt, more to taste
- 3 fat garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large whole shallot, minced
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, preferably Turkish or Aleppo (see note), more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, more to taste
- 1/2 ln bow-tie or orecchiette pasta
- 2 to 6 tbsp unsalted butter, to taste
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used a 6 oz cup of Fage)
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Bring a pot of water to boil for pasta.
- Toss eggplant with 4 tbsp oil and a large pinch of salt. Spread on a baking sheet, making sure there is room between pieces, and roast until crisp and brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a large skillet, sautÃ© lamb until no longer pink, and then drain the fat, leaving ground lamb in a colander or bowl. Add the remaining tbsp of oil to the pan, and heat. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and the shallot and sautÃ© until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan, add 1/2 tsp salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Stir in mint and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir eggplant into lamb. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter: the amount is to your taste. Let cook until it turns golden brown and smells nutty.. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, remaining garlic and a pinch of salt.
- Drain pasta and spread on a serving platter. Top with lamb-eggplant mixture, then with yogurt sauce. Pour melted brown butter over top. Sprinkle on additional red pepper and more mint. Serve immediately.
- Yields 3 to 4 servings.
|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 363g|
|Recipe makes 4 servings|
|Calories from Fat 504||79%|
|Total Fat 56.61g||71%|
|Saturated Fat 22.09g||88%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 12.03g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 6.1g||20%|