Tangy Tomato Lamb Stuffed Shells
The good old stuffed shell. We love her. She’s usually full of ricotta, maybe some spinach and some ground meat, and baked in a sweet, herby tomato sauce. That’s her everyday *~lewk~* and it’s a classic.
Today, we’re dressing her a little differently because why not have a little fun sometimes!? I created these tangy tomato lamb stuffed shells because I was inspired by a Turkish dish called manti. If you’re not familiar with Turkish manti, it’s lifechanging. There are different versions of manti in the cuisines of South Caucasus, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Balkans, Bukharan Jews and Chinese Muslims, but today I’m referring to the Turkish version. The little dumplings are full of an oniony ground meat (lamb or beef) and then tossed in a garlicky yogurt sauce and topped with a sweeter tomato sauce and some herbs. Of course, there are different ways to dress and serve manti, but I’m referring to the version that I had four years ago that I absolutely never forgot. To this day, I remember the first time I tried it. In terms of life events it goes: 1) getting married 2) getting our dog 3) trying manti for the first time — is that weird?
Now, here’s the deal. You’re not going to like thos dish if you don’t like tangy, creamy flavors. There’s a lot of yogurt influence. If you’re indifferent or “meh” towards yogurt, what I recommend you do is add the yogurt to the filling and then bake the shells in a tomato mixture sans yogurt. If you hateeee yogurt, I would still add a little dollop to the ground meat mixture (just a smidge!) and then skip it throughout. My husband hates yogurt and loved the filling, but didn’t like the yogurt sauce on top. So do with that what you will. Most importantly, follow your instinct because you know what you like best!
|1box jumbo shells|
|1lb ground lamb|
|3cloves garlic, minced or grated|
|2tbsp dried or fresh parsley, minced|
|Oil for pan|
|1cup minced white onion|
|1/2cup Greek yogurt|
|1/4cup tomato paste|
|Fresh parsley, chopped, for topping|
|Garlicky Yogurt Sauce (for Topping)|
|2tsp garlic, minced|
|1cup Greek yogurt|
|Tomato Paste Sauce (for topping)|
|4-6tbsp tomato paste|
|1/4cup olive oil|
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a large pot of water and salt generously. Heat over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
Add the shells to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente. This should be listed on the packaging under “pre-baking” cook time. My shells took 9 minutes.
As the shells cook, periodically stir with a spoon to make sure they don’t stick together.