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Author Notes: We love the mantu (which are quite similar to Turkish manti) at our local Afghan restaurant. I first came across of the idea of deconstructed or mock manti from Melissa Clark in the New York Times a couple of years ago. So, armed with this meatball challenge, I attempted to capture the flavors of the mantu we love, right in a meatball. When served with orecchiette, the manti-balls nest nicely into the curves of the pasta, providing the complete dumpling flavor. In the alternative, these can be served with just the yogurt sauce as an accompaniment. - healthierkitchen
Serves 4 - 6
- 1 pound ground grass fed lamb
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 fat shallot, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons mint, chopped finely and divided (2 tablespoons for the meatballs and the third for garnish)
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac, and a pinch more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Yogurt Sauce and Aleppo Infused Oil
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (2% and even fat free is fine)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Place all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl and combine gently with a fork or your hands. Form the lamb mixture into tiny meatballs, no more than an inch in diameter, and place onto the parchment lined pan. You should have 50 - 60 balls.
- Bake the meatballs for 25 - 30 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through.
- In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the remaining 1 clove minced garlic. Add the milk and mix to thin to a thick sauce consistency. Arrange the yogurt sauce over platter or low-sided bowl. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped mint and pinch of sumac as garnish.
- In a small saucepan, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, and warm gently over low heat.
- Once meatballs have finished cooking, remove them gently, one by one and arrange on the garnished garlic sauce. Drizzle with the Aleppo infused oil.
- Enjoy with flatbread or over orecchiette pasta. If serving over pasta, place the cooked pasta in a large bowl and then layer on the yogurt, garnishes, meatballs and Aleppo oil in that order.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Mint
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Meatballs
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