Turkish Shells with Yogurt

This is another recipe I learned from my local Turkish community. It is very easy and quite tasty. I once served it at a multi-ethnic potluck. I walked away from the table only to return when I noticed a group of Turkish friends hovering around the dish. Apparently, sautéing of the tomato paste is an important aspect of this dish, and I had executed it perfectly.

Here I will confess that my sisters are much more talented in the kitchen than I am. My older sister instructed me in the making of this dish when I first learned it. I attribute my success to her patient demonstrations and this dish’s similarity to a Lebanese dish I make called Macaronis bil Laban.

What I love about this dish is the sweet intensity the tomato adds to the creamy yogurt. Texturally, this dish is also very satisfying. I hope you try and enjoy it.

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Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 package pasta shells (gluten free or standard)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp red pepper, optional
1 stick butter or margarine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 container whole milk yogurt
1 crushed or minced clove garlic
dried mint, optional

Cook shells according to package instructions.

Mix the garlic into the yogurt and refrigerate. Melt butter with olive oil in a sautee pan. Add tomato paste and red pepper. Sautee until tomato paste is fragrant and begins to look like little dots. The butter and paste should separate.

Put shells in a bowl. Top with a bit of yogurt sauce and sprinkle with a pinch of mint, if desired. Add a dollop of tomato paste and a couple spoonfuls of the butter.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a salad on the side.

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0 Discussion to this post

  1. Confused about adding dollup of paste and spooning some butter at end. Do you mix the paste with the butter and olive oil?

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  2. Shawna says:

    The paste and butter are cooked together, but the paste should separate back out of the butter as it cooks, so you spoon on a bit of the paste and then some butter from the paste pan.

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  3. […] is similar to the Turkish Shells recipe I posted awhile back, but it’s the Lebanese version. I’ve toned down the garlic […]

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