Monday, January 3, 2011


Wonder how to say pastitsio?  Try pah-STEET-see-oh.  Wonder what pastitsio is?  Think Greek and think lasagna.  Thanks to Better Homes & Gardens I am now 1/18 of the way to meeting my new year's resolution!

(adapted from Better Homes & Gardens "One-Pan Recipes)
1 pound ground beef
1 cup onion (chopped)
2 8-ounce cans of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup white wine
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound pasta
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs (lightly beaten, divided)
4 tablespoons butter (divided)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups Parmesan cheese

Prepare meat sauce by cooking beef and onion over medium heat.  Drain fat.  Stir in tomato sauce, sugar, chopped tomatoes, wine, and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Once cooked, drain well and toss with 3/4 cup milk, 2 beaten eggs, and 2 tablespoons butter.  Ensure noodles are slightly cooled to avoid cooking the egg mixture.

Create cream sauce by melting remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Once melted stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth.  Slowly add milk (thickening in between pours).  Cook and stir until mixture is bubbly and thickened.  Slowly add mixture to remaining eggs.  (Again adding slowly to avoid cooking the egg mixture).

Grease a 9x13 baking dish.  Spread half of the pasta mixture onto the bottom of the pan.  Top with meat sauce.  Sprinkle with a cup of cheese.  Top with remaining pasta and sprinkle with another cup of cheese.  Finally, pour cream sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover the pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.  Sprinkle each serving with ground cinnamon.

I know I can trust my husband's "this tastes good" if he takes more than one serving or if takes bite after bite out of the pan - saying he doesn't want another serving...just another bite.  And...he ate more.  Success!  I was worried the about the cinnamon, but you need not be.  It's a very mild flavor and not at all overwhelming.  We'll make this again!

It feels great to get back to cooking!  After all my holiday baking I doubt I'll want to bake until Valentine's Day!  Ok, who am I kidding I'll probably be baking again by week's end!

No comments: