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, riffing on that and lightening things up a little, 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
4 - 6
ground grass fed lamb
large cloves of garlic, finely minced
fat shallot, finely minced
mint, chopped finely and divided (2 tablespoons for the meatballs and the third for garnish)
ground sumac, and a pinch more for garnish
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.