Hye Thyme Cafe: Manti - Act 2

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Manti - Act 2

Manti Stuffed Shells : Hye Thyme Cafe

I couldn't wait!  Last week, I made Manti from scratch, including the pasta, but I gave up before I finished making them all. When I ate some and realized how good it was, I was mad at myself for getting frustrated and bailing. I had saved the rest of the filling in a ziplock bag in the freezer but took it out again the very next day so I could try this.

I use the shells I had leftover from making Kale and Panchetta Stuffed Shells last week. I boiled the shells until they were al dente, and rinsed them under cold water to stop them from cooking any more. I then stuffed the shells with the leftover filling, nestled them in a buttered baking dish, and topped each with a dot of butter.

As with the original dish, I baked them until they got a little brown to them, then poured a mixture of tomato paste and chicken broth over them and continued baking until the sauce had reduced by about half and started to bubble. I then served up a few with a little of the broth and spooned over some fresh yogurt infused with minced garlic.

I will definitely make them again this way when I get the craving but don't want to deal with making the pasta, but I will use a smaller shell. Having to cut these to eat them meant I was losing my filling in the broth and needed to scoop it up with a spoon. I would rather be able to just pop a whole shell in my mouth. Another thing I thought of too late was cooking the pasta in chicken broth, then reserving some of that pasta liquid to mix with the tomato paste later. I'll have to remember to try that next time.

Manti Stuffed Shells : Hye Thyme Cafe
What's missing?  Hmmm, some string cheese would be good!  :)

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