Pasta with Meat Topping

April 28, 2012

pasta with meat topping

Belke is a Turkmen pasta dish that is usually just topped with yogurt garlic sauce so if you want a meatless dish, you can skip out on the meat topping, or try belke with spinach.

Pasta with Meat Topping (Etli Belke)

Serves 3

For the topping

  • 2 tablespoons chickpeas
  • 300 g turkey / beef / lamb, cut into cubes
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground red pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped

For the dough

  • 300 g flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 200 ml water

For boiling

  • 3 l water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the yogurt sauce

  • 4 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 pinch ground red pepper

Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight. Then place them in a saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil. Simmer until they are tender, then drain and set aside.

Cut the meat into cubes and season with salt, black and red pepper. Heat the oil in a pan and stir-fry the meat cubes for a few seconds, then cover and cook over medium heat. When the meat begins to get tender, add the chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomatoes, and cook, stirring regularly. When the vegetables are tender, add the chickpeas and turn off the heat.

To make the pasta dough, mix together water, salt and flour in a bowl and knead to form a hard dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of 2 mm (1/16 inches). Fold the sheet in a zig-zag manner and slice the strip into squares. Unfold each square, stack the strips on top of one another and slice into squares again. (Click here for pictures of how to slice dough into squares.)

Bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes.

To prepare the sauce, grate the garlic clove over the yogurt and stir in the ground red pepper.

To serve, spread some of the yogurt sauce over a serving dish, place the drained pasta in the dish, stir in the rest of the sauce and add the warmed meat topping.