Pastitsio


Pastitsio

So we still have about 6″-7″ of snow left on the ground even after two days of it melting.  I am still searching for comfort foods.

In New York, where we used to live, there was a huge Greek festival every year.  We would head over early in the afternoon for lunch and sit for hours in the sun trying all the different tasty treats.  I remembered this dish the moment I saw this recipe for Pastitsio II from Allrecipes.com on Pinterest.

I didn’t have any ziti pasta but I had everything else.  I wasn’t going to the grocery store just to buy different pasta so I made mine with ruffled pasta.  Guess what?  It didn’t change the taste at all.  (sarcasm).

Verdict:

As we were making the dish my daughter just kept saying, “This seems to have a lot of really rich ingredients in it.”  My children thought it was a bit odd at first but the more they ate the more they liked it.  My son took it to school for lunch and we still had 2 portions leftover.

I will definitely make this dish again.  It was savory, comforting and brought back all the wonderful memories of the Greek festival.

Ingredients:

Pasta:

  • 1 lb. pasta (calls for ziti all I had was ruffles)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten

Meat Sauce:

  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cream Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups fat-free half and half
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated for top of casserole
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and return to pan.
  3. Just before pasta is drained melt butter.  Stir continually in pan until it turns golden brown.  Pour over pasta, add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper and stir well.  Set aside to cool.
  4. Once the pasta is cool add eggs and stir again.
  5. While pasta is cooling start making the meat sauce.  Cook the onion and garlic in butter in a skillet over medium heat until onion is soft. 
  6. Once the onion is soft add the ground beef to the pan. Cook until meat begins to brown. Add tomatoes, wine, stock, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  7. While meat is simmering begin making the cream sauce.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Once it is completely melted stir in flour and cook gently for 2 minutes over medium heat. Pour in milk all at once and allow it to just begin to boil, stirring constantly.  Let it slow boil for for 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat.  Add nutmeg, salt, pepper and allow the mixture to  cool slightly before stirring in beaten egg.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of the cream sauce to your meat sauce.
  9. To assemble Pastitsio: Spoon half of the prepared pasta evenly in the bottom and top with meat sauce. Top that with remaining pasta. Pour on cream sauce and spread to completely cover pasta.
  10. Sprinkle 2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese over the top before baking.
  11. Bake in a preheated oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

 

 

 

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