Traditional Turkish manti (lamb-filled pasta shapes) are served with yoghurt sauce. They're laborious to make, but Diana Henry was so enamoured with the idea of pasta with yoghurt and feta, she came up with this simpler version instead.

Ingredients

  • 425g onions (about 4 medium onions), very finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5cm piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp caster sugar (optional)
  • squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
  • 145g tagliatelle
  • 50g Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ tbsp milk or buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill fronds
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • finely crumbled feta cheese, to serve

Method

  1. Put the onions in a heavy-based pan with the olive oil, bay and cinnamon. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, until the onions are starting to turn golden, then add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes.
  2. Add a splash of water, cover the pan, reduce the heat right down and leave until the onions are almost caramelised, about 35 minutes. Check on them every so often to give them a stir and ensure they're not getting too dry.
  3. When the onions are totally soft, remove the lid, season and boil until any excess liquid has evaporated. (If they haven't caramelised very well you could add the 1 tsp of sugar, but balance it by adding a good squeeze of lemon juice, too.)
  4. Cook the tagliatelle until al dente in boiling salted water, usually a couple of minutes less than suggested on the packet. When it's almost ready, add the yoghurt and milk or buttermilk to the onions and heat, but don't boil. Drain the pasta and toss it into the onion pan with the dill.
  5. Quickly melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the cayenne. Cook for about 20 seconds.
  6. Serve the pasta with the spiced butter drizzled on top and offer the feta cheese on the side.

From Simple by Diana Henry; photograph by Laura Edwards. Mitchell Beazley, £25 octopusbooks.co.uk.