An absolute classic of Lebanese cuisine is definitely shishbarak. These are dumplings filled with minced meat and pine nuts in a creamy yoghurt sauce with mint and lots of garlic. To cook it faithfully, the small dumplings have to be filled and made by hand. Unfortunately, you can't buy them like this. To my mother's chagrin, we always wanted this elaborate dish as children (and still do) - until one day I came up with a little shortcut. If you deconstruct shishbarak, you get this creamy yoghurt pasta with a delicious mince topping.
Shishbarak deconstructed - A classic rediscovered
Actually, this classic is super quick to prepare. The minty yoghurt sauce with garlic and a hint of cinnamon is cooked very quickly. The only thing missing are the dumplings filled with minced meat, which are usually cooked directly in the sauce. But if I don't have time and still don't want to miss out on one of my absolute favourite dishes, I have to get creative.
The shortcut is to simply turn everything upside down, take some very ordinary pasta and toss it into the creamy yoghurt sauce. The actual filling with pine nuts or almonds is ready in no more than 10 minutes and now simply serves as a topping. The taste is almost the same.
When I presented this shortcut to my family and served the plates, the scepticism was high. Especially with my sister, it took a while for her questioning eyebrow to find peace again. In the end, everyone was thrilled, but then demanded the elaborately filled bags again in the end... (But also just to annoy our mother).
Recipe for creamy yoghurt pasta with minced topping
- 400 g Pasta At choice
For the sauce
For the topping
- chopped parsley
- Combine the yoghurt with the broth in a large saucepan and heat.
- Mix cornflour with cold water and stir into the heated sauce, bring to the boil briefly and immediately return to medium heat.
- Peel the garlic, crush it with a little salt in a mortar and stir into the sauce.
- Stir in the mint and cinnamon as well and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer gently for about 10 minutes on a low heat.
- Peel and finely chop the onion.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over a high heat and fry the onions and mince in it.
- Add the almonds and season with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
- Stir half of it directly into the sauce.
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, strain and add directly to the yoghurt sauce. Let the noodles sit in the sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Divide the pasta between plates, top with the mince mixture and garnish with chopped parsley.