Veal Mantia Recipe

Fill homemade egg pasta with veal and sweetbreads, then toss in brown butter and serve over yogurt in this soul-warming Greek recipe.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves: 6 to 8 
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 


for the pasta: 
16 large egg yolks
2 cups|300 grams “00” flour, plus more for dusting 
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

for the filling: 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 bay leaves
½ medium carrot, chopped
½ medium celery stalk, chopped 
½ small yellow onion, chopped plus ½ cup|80 grams onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste 
3 ½ ounces|100 grams sweetbreads 
freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
1 tablespoon canola oil 
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and smashed 
¼ cup|60 grams unsalted butter 
16 ounces|450 grams ground veal


to serve:
1 cup|200 grams full fat Greek yogurt
16 tablespoons|225 grams unsalted butter


  1. Make the dough: Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs and olive oil. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. Once the dough starts to come together, knead it gently with both hands for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. You may need to add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Cut the dough in half and form into two balls, then wrap in plastic and rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. 
  2. Cook the sweetbreads: Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add 1 of the bay leaves, the carrot, celery, and onion and cook until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with the salt, add the sweetbreads, then add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high, then pour over ice to cool completely. Using your hands, peel the membrane from the sweetbreads, pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel, and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add the sweetbreads and cook until slightly golden, about 3 minutes, then add the remaining bay leaf, garlic, and the butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, basting often, until the butter is foamy and smells nutty and golden, and the sweetbreads are cooked through, about 5 minutes. (If the butter starts to get too hot, pull it off the heat to control the temperature.) Let the sweetbreads cool, then finely chop and add to a large bowl with the ground veal and minced onion. Season with salt and pepper, mix to combine, and place in a piping bag. Refrigerate until ready to use. 
  4. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. To thin the dough, set your pasta machine to its widest setting. Cut each of the doughs in quarters and keep the rest wrapped while you work. Roll the dough lightly in flour and then flatten it into a rectangle that is roughly the width of your pasta machine. Run the dough through the machine at this setting twice to give the dough a final kneading. Set the machine to its next thinnest setting and run the dough through. Continue running the dough through the machine's settings so that the dough gets progressively thinner each time; you don't have to hit every setting on the dial as is so often insisted, but do thin the dough gradually. If you run the dough through the machine and it shreds or tears or is too thin, simply fold it over and run it through a wider setting to smooth it out. If your dough sticks, you can flour it well without worry; the dough will not incorporate too much flour at this point. 
  5. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares, then place 1 scant teaspoon of filling in the middle. Lightly spritz with water, then pinch opposite corners to make a small pyramid and close. Place on the prepared sheet tray and repeat with the remaining pasta and filling. 
  6. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until the pasta floats and the filling is cooked through, about 3 minutes. 
  7. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium. Add half of the butter and a ladleful of pasta water and cook until it smells nutty and golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, toss in the cooked mantia to coat. 
  8. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium until it smells nutty and golden, about 3 minutes. Season with salt, remove from the heat, and keep warm.
  9. Smear 2 to 3 tablespoons of yogurt in each of the bowls. Plate the pasta, then finish with the foamy brown butter. 

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