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Cheat Manti, Kiymali Makarna – Pasta with Turkish ragout sauce, garlicky yoghurt and Pul biber olive oil

I absolutely love manti, Turkish dumplings with fillings. When I am short of time though, I make this “Cheat Manti”, Kiymali Makarna, using shell shaped conchiglie pasta, over a delicious Turkish style ragout sauce, topped with garlicky yoghurt and pul biber/red pepper flakes infused olive oil – a lovely meal my mother used to make for us for busy weekday dinners. And it certainly delivers that satisfying manti taste – the garlicky yoghurt and pul biber oil take the dish to the next level and brings comforting manti vibes, in almost no time.

You can make your meaty ragout sauce ahead of time. I try to sneak in as much vegetables as possible in the sauce; diced carrots, peppers, mushrooms all work well. The meat sauce is roughly based on my topping recipe for the Stuffed aubergines/eggplants, Karniyarik, from my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table, which is cooked further and reduced. For a vegetarian topping, why not using my Baked Vegetables with chickpeas, Firinda Sebzeli Turlu recipe? Great way to finish leftovers too. Please take the yoghurt out of the fridge and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour before you ensemble the dish.

If you also like to make manti, I have two delicious recipes. This is my Traditional manti with minced/ground meat filling; here is also my Vegetarian manti recipe with crushed chickpeas and caramalised onions. They are both so delicious and satisfying and well worth your effort.

My family absolutely love this Cheat Manti, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  You can serve Shepherd salad with sumac onions as a side, if you like.

Cheat Manti, Kiymali Makarna - Pasta with Turkish ragout sauce, garlicky yoghurt and Pul biber olive oil
 
I absolutely love manti, Turkish dumplings with fillings. When I am short of time though, I make this “Cheat Manti”, using shell shaped conchiglie pasta, over a delicious Turkish style ragout sauce, Kiymali Makarna, topped with garlicky yoghurt and pul biber/red pepper flakes infused olive oil – a lovely meal my mother used to make for us for busy weekday dinners. And it certainly delivers that satisfying manti taste – the garlicky yoghurt and pul biber oil take the dish to the next level and brings comforting manti vibes, in almost no time. You can make your meaty ragout sauce ahead of time. I try to sneak in as much vegetables as possible in the sauce; diced carrots, peppers, mushrooms all work well. The meat sauce is roughly based on my topping recipe for the Stuffed aubergines/eggplants, Karniyarik, from my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table, which is cooked further and reduced. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Turkish cuisine
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 500g/1lb 2oz shell (conchiglie) pasta or your choice of pasta
  • 450g/1lb minced/ground beef (or lamb)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 200g/7oz (can of) chopped tomato
  • 15ml/1tbsp tomato paste
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
  • 240ml/8fl oz water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For the garlicky yoghurt:
  • 400g/14oz plain yoghurt (I like to use whole milk yoghurt)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • Salt to your taste
  • For the pul biber/red pepper flakes infused olive oil:
  • 10ml/2tsp (or more!) Turkish pul biber, red pepper flakes or chili flakes
  • 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Please take the yoghurt out of the fridge and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour before you ensemble the dish. For the garlicky yoghurt, combine the yoghurt with chopped garlic in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt to your taste, combine well and set aside.
  2. Pour 2tbsp olive oil on a wide heavy pan and stir in the onions and carrots. Stir and sauté for 2-3 minutes, over medium to high heat.
  3. Stir in the ground (minced) meat, garlic and chopped peppers, combine well. Sauté for 4-5 minutes over medium to high heat, stirring continuously.
  4. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and 240ml water, combine well. Season with salt and ground black pepper and cook over medium heat for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will reduce at the end of this period; check the seasoning and add more salt or ground black pepper if needed. Stir in the chopped parsley and combine well, turn the heat off.
  5. Towards the last 10 minutes of the meat sauce to get ready, pour in the hot water to a medium sized pan and stir in your pasta (I like to use shell shaped conchiglie pasta, which reminds me the manti shape). Cook your pasta, al dente, as per the cooking instructions in the package (conchiglie pasta cooks al dente in 10 minutes). Drain the water and drizzle a little olive oil over and combine, so the pasta doesn’t stick.
  6. In a small sauté pan, drizzle 2tbsp olive oil and stir in the pul biber or red pepper flakes. Stir and gently infuse the pul biber to the olive oil, over medium to low heat, for 1 -2 minutes, turn the heat off.
  7. You are now ready to ensemble your cheat manti feast; using a serving spoon, place the pasta on a plate. Spread the 3 – 4 tablespoonfuls of the meaty sauce over the pasta and scatter a few small dollops of garlicky yoghurt over the sauce. Drizzle pul biber infused olive oil over the garlicky yoghurt. Serve immediately.
  8. Afiyet Olsun.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book – 20 % Off, delivered worldwide

Holiday and gift giving season is upon us. Hardback signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table cookery book, as well as this beautiful apron, are available to order at this link, and delivered worldwide, including the US. Signed copies are 20 % off via GB Publishing, and we are told they make very special gifts.

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Gluten-free and Delicious; Pasta with anchovies, garlic, capers and parsley, in tomato sauce

A typical Pazar -Market - in Istanbul; healthy and delicious foods like beans seeds and nuts in their natural, unprocessed form have a big part in Turkish cuisine.

My good friend Gillian needed to switch to a gluten-free diet recently and thanks to her, I have been learning a lot more about gluten-free products and how they can help with those suffering from coeliac disease (or celiac disease as known in North America) and auto-immune conditions. Good news is that she is feeling much better and moreover, finding exciting ways to incorporate gluten-free ingredients to her diet. BBC Food has some wonderful information challenges on gluten-free diet, gluten-free ingredients and substitutions as well as wonderful recipes to spice up gluten-free ingredients, if you would like to check out.

Gluten-free pasta; a blend of corn flour and rice flour

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Though it is nice to know that many healthy and delicious foods like beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form, fresh eggs, fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated), fruits and vegetables and most dairy products are naturally gluten-free.

Having coastline to the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Sea, Turkey has wonderful variety of fish

Turkish cuisine is based on using fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables, plenty of fish, nuts and legumes. I am delighted to see that most ingredients we use in Turkish cuisine are gluten-free and suitable for those in need of delicious gluten-free recipes. Try our wonderful Appetizers and Mezzes, like this wonderful warm hummus with red pepper paste infused olive oil, or vegetables cooked in olive oil like this Artichokes cooked in olive oil with peas,carrots and almonds, for exciting ways to enjoy gluten- free diet.

Mercimekli Mualla - Lentils, aubergine, onion, garlic and peppers cooked in olive oil; a delicious gluten-free dish

Mercimekli Mualla - Lentils, aubergine, onion, garlic and peppers cooked in olive oil; a delicious gluten-free dish

How about lentils? They are an integral part of Turkish cuisine and their protein packed nutrition add to a healthful diet. For a delicious, gluten-free treat, try this Mercimekli Mualla, eggplant, tomato & green lentils cooked in olive oil. This tasty, versatile dish can be a wonderful side to grilled meat and fish or a meal on its own.

As for the grains; couscous, bulgur wheat and semolina are not gluten-free, and we use especially bulgur quiet a lot in Turkish cuisine. However, you can use quinoa, in the place of couscous or bulgur wheat for salads and side dishes. Try making my spicy bulgur wheat salad with vegetables,kisir, with quinoa, for a delicious, gluten-free alternative.

Delicious Coconut-flavored Tilapia Fish and Potatoes Curry by Peri's Spice Ladle

Indian cuisine is also a great source for delicious and easy gluten-free recipes. Please also check out the wonderful blog Peri’s Spice Ladle; Peri has a delicious Coconut flavored tilapia fish and potato curry this week, so worth trying.

Here is a delicious and easy gluten-free pasta recipe, inspired by my friend Gillian’s wonderful sauce to go with it. It was my first time trying gluten-free pasta (a blend of corn flour and rice flour); we were impressed by it and the sauce of anchovies, capers, garlic and tomato gave it a really nice punchy flavor. I like to add a tablespoon of capers for extra zing, if you like the flavor too. My husband didn’t realize it was gluten-free pasta until I mentioned at the end! 🙂

Hope this recipe and other Turkish recipes here in this blog may help you to enjoy a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free and Delicious; Pasta with anchovies, garlic, capers and parsley, in tomato sauce

Gluten-free pasta with anchovies, capers, tomatoes and garlic in tomato sauce

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes                           Cooking time: 15 minutes

250gr gluten-free pasta (or enough for 2 people)

30gr/ 1 canned anchovy fillets in olive oil – coarsely chopped

1tbsp capers, rinsed

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped

14oz/1 can of Italian whole or cherry tomatoes, crushed in your hand (this works really well in the sauce, but if you rather prefer to use chopped tomatoes, that works too)

15ml/1tbsp olive oil

Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and sauté the garlic for a minute or two. Add the crushed tomatoes in can (along with about 2 tbsp of water to get all the juices in the can) to the pan; give them a good mix and cook for a further two minutes. Stir in the capers and anchovies, combine well. Season with salt (if needed; as anchovies and capers are already quite salty) and black pepper and simmer on low heat for about 5-8 minutes.

Anchovies and capers go well with garlic and tomatoes in the sauce

While the sauce is simmering, place the gluten-free pasta in a saucepan of boiling water, add a little salt and a dash of olive oil. Stir occasionally and boil for about 10 minutes, until “al dente”. Towards the end of the cooking, take 2 tablespoons of the pasta’s cooking liquid and add to the pasta sauce, along with the parsley, mix well. Once pasta is cooked, drain the water and mix the pasta with the sauce.

Afiyet Olsun (means in Turkish; “may you be happy and healthy with the food you eat”),

Ozlem

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Delicious, Sun kissed Inspirations from Kalkan; Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic and tomatoes, in olive oil

We have had some wonderful food while in Kalkan at the south coast of Turkey, featuring region’s sun kissed fresh produce; tomatoes have been at their peak, and the peppers tasted out of this world – no need to mention the region’s divine olive oil; I could dip my bread to it all day!

Sun kissed south coast of Turkey is always so inviting

We had this simple yet very delicious pasta at the Villa Mahal’s café, and I recreated at home in England; it is packed with goodness and so easy too, ready within 30 minutes. The sweetness of tomatoes and peppers work so well with the chili pepper and tangy lemon juice- a handful of capers also work really well in this sauce.  Even though it wasn’t Kalkan’s lovingly grown tomatoes, still tasted wonderful, with children asking for another serving; sunshine on a plate.

Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic in olive oil, so delicious

Pasta with peppers, chili, garlic, tomatoes in olive oil, so delicious

For the ultimate Turkish experience, you can serve the pasta with Ayran, refreshing Turkish drink with yoghurt or Cacik dip with cucumber and yoghurt by the side. The tangy and hard Turkish kasar cheese goes very well, grated over the pasta; if you can’t get kasar, you can replace it with a tangy cheddar or Pecorino Romano.

Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table book, available to order at this link

I am passionate about healthy, delicious Turkish cuisine and aimed to showcase this wonderful cuisine with stories from my homeland at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. It has over 90 authentic Turkish recipes and regional specialties from my hometown, Antakya. Signed copies are available to order at this link, for a limited period, if you’d like to get a copy.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 25 minutes                     Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

500gr pasta (spaghetti or penne works well) – or enough for 4 –

Red, orange, yellow (or green) pointy or bell peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

1-2 chili peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

4-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

4 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped – please keep all the wonderful juice!-

Juice of ½ lemon

5ml/1 tsp. brown sugar

60ml/3 tbsp. olive oil

10ml/2 tsp. oregano

5ml/1 tsp. red pepper flakes – optional-

Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Grated hard and tangy Turkish kasar  (tangy cheddar) or  Pecorino Romano to serve

Ripe tomatoes, juicy peppers, garlic; fresh ingredients for a healthy, delicious sauce

Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan and stir in the peppers, chili pepper and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pan and combine well. Stir in the lemon juice, brown sugar and red pepper flakes, if using. Season with salt and ground black pepper, mix well.  Leave to cook on a moderate heat for about 8 minutes. Once cooked, stir in the oregano to the sauce and check the seasoning.

Tomatoes, peppers, chili and the garlic work so well together

Boil the water for the pasta in a separate heavy pan, while the sauce is cooking. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of lightly salted boiling water until a minute before it is al dente (please refer to the cooking time on the pasta’s packaging). Drain the water and set aside the pasta in the colander.

Stir in the pasta to the pan where the sauce is cooked; make sure to coat all the pasta with the sauce (if you like, you can drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the pasta).

Make sure to stir in the cooked pasta to the pan you cooked the sauce in, to mop up all the juices

Serve hot with grated tangy kasar (cheddar) or  pecorino cheese over the pasta. Steamed vegetables or cacik dip complement the pasta well; ayran drink would be a refreshing accompaniment to the pasta too.

Sunset in Kalkan; mesmerising

Sunset in Kalkan; mesmerising

Afiyet Olsun!

Ozlem

 

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