Recipe: Yogurt Makarna (Turkish Pasta with Yogurt Sauce)

by Celeste Heiter, May 30, 2009 | Destinations: Turkey
Yogurt Makarna

Yogurt Makarna

Yogurt Makarna

The success of this dish depends upon the sequence of preparing its components. First prepare the yogurt sauce and the butter topping before cooking the noodles and meat topping. Then bring a large kettle of water to a boil for the noodles. While the water comes to a boil, prepare the meat topping, and while it's finishing, add the noodles to the kettle of water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes. When the noodles are done, drain in a colander. Arrange cooked noodles on serving dishes, add meat topping, spoon yogurt over meat and noodles. Drizzle each portion with a tablespoon of butter topping and serve immediately.

Homemade noodles are best (see recipe below) however, they require about 2 hours to prepare, so if you are using homemade noodles, be sure to allow for extra preparation time. If you prefer, you may substitute 4 portions of dry fettuccini noodles, cooked according to package directions.

Yogurt Sauce:

2 cups plain yogurt, room temperature
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Stir ingredients together and set aside.

Butter Topping:

1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Cayenne pepper, just a dash

Stir ingredients together and set aside.


For dried fettuccini noodles, follow package directions. To cook homemade noodles (see recipe below), bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Add noodles a few at a time and separate them with a fork to keep them from sticking together. Test for doneness at three minutes, and every minute thereafter until noodles reach the desired doneness. Drain noodles in a colander and transfer immediately to serving plates. If not serving noodles immediately, reheat them by immersing them briefly in boiling water.

Meat Topping:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Cinnamon, just a dash
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add ground meat, onions and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent and meat is lightly browned. Season with cumin, a dash of cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Noodles:

2 cups flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water (more or less as needed)
1 teaspoon salt

Combine flour, eggs and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir with a fork. Add water a little at a time until the dough forms a ball. Turn dough onto a floured board and knead for a few minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the ball of dough with an inverted bowl and allow to rest for about an hour.

If you have a pasta maker, follow the rolling instructions and use the cutter attachment for making fettuccini. If you are rolling the noodles by hand, divide the dough into 4 equal portions, add a generous dusting of flour to the board, and roll each portion of dough into a long, thin sheet. Dust the dough sheet with flour, roll up the dough sheet jellyroll style, and cut into thin ribbons with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Carefully unroll the ribbons of dough and separate into individual noodles. Dust with more flour if needed.