Saturday, September 11, 2010

Turkish Pasta with Meat and Yogurt Sauce

(Yoğurtlu Kıymalı Makarna)
My taste buds' trip to Turkey is long overdue. They have had their bags packed and have been patiently waiting for me to get cooking what is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. It's also one of the largest, full of history and influencing all of the countries around it. So off I went to imagine myself at the Bosphorus, wandering the streets of Istanbul and smelling the fragrance of the spice market. I got lost for a while, and it made me really really hungry, so I cooked up this beautiful pasta dish. It may be simple food - but there is nothing like it around here. Very yummy!

Turkish Pasta with Meat and Yogurt Sauce
8 ounces extra lean ground beef (97/3), or bison
1 medium Onion, chopped
1/2 cup all natural fat free yogurt
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1/4 teaspoon Ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Sweet Hungarian paprika, divided
1/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

cooked pasta

For the meat sauce:
Saute chopped onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil until golden and translucent. Add two of the cloves of minced garlic and lean ground beef and saute until meat is cooked through. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, and 1/8 teaspoons of sweet paprika and cinnamon. Turn heat to low and keep warm.

For the yogurt sauce:
Mince two of the garlic cloves and combine with one pinch of kosher salt and mash into a paste. Add to yogurt and set aside and allow to come to room temperature. I used organic fat free plain yogurt, but you could use regular yogurt too.

For the oil drizzle:
Combine 1 tablespoon canola oil with additional 1/8 teaspoon of both cayenne pepper and sweet paprika. Heat in microwave safe container for 30 seconds until warm. Set aside. Butter is most commonly used for this and you could use it instead of canola oil.

Makes two servings:
Serve 3/4 to 1 cup cooked pasta (I used whole wheat fusili) with 1/2 of the meat sauce and a dollop of yogurt. Drizzle with a few drops of the oil. Garnish with fresh cucumber slices.

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