Pastitsio

Pastitsio

Topped with a thick and creamy Béchamel layer, this decadent Greek lasagna is worth the effort.


INGREDIENTS

Meat Sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground beef
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 onion, diced
1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup red or white wine
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

Béchamel Sauce
3/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
5 cups milk
5 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch nutmeg, freshly ground to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Assembly
3/4 pound penne pasta
Olive oil, for brushing the baking dish


PREPARATION

Meat Sauce
Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil. When olive oil is hot, add ground lamb and beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in red wine and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in 2 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Béchamel Sauce
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir to combine to make a roux. Continue to cook and stir, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, making sure to incorporate the roux into the milk. Continue to whisk mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking frequently, until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Finish with nutmeg, season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in beaten eggs. Stir in grated 1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Assembly
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain pasta and toss with 2 cups of béchamel sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 13-inch x 9-inch x 3-inch baking dish.

Layer in baking dish: pasta mixture, meat sauce and then finish with remaining béchamel. Bake until top is golden brown and set, about 1 hour. Let stand about 15 minutes before serving.



Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

 

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