pastitsio

cooking for a crowd? this greek pasta casserole is delicious and comforting. choose your favorite short pasta to personalize. while this isn’t the most simple dish, you can make it ahead, and then pop it in the oven to bake when you’re ready to eat.

i used lamb, as the recipe calls for, but you can easily switch it out for ground beef.

pair it with a simple salad or greek salad!

Pastitsio

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pastitsio

serves 4

ingredients

  • 1 box elbow pasta (or 1 lb.)
  • 7 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground sumac
  • 1 tsp. dried mint
  • 2 c. beef stock
  • 6 oz. crumbled feta
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3 c. milk
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan

directions

cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. drain & set aside. stir in 1 Tbsp. of butter to prevent sticking.

in a large pan over medium heat,  cook the lamb until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. add in the onions and cook about 5 minutes.

transfer to a colander to drain the fat. return the lamb and onions to the pan and add the wine. cook over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. stir in the tomato paste, cinnamon, oregano, sumac, mint, and beef stock. simmer over low heat until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. season with salt & pepper. set aside to cool.

for the béchamel cheese sauce,  melt 6 Tbsp. butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. whisk in flour until completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. in a slow, steady stream, whisk in milk until there are no lumps. (this will take a a few minutes, and it will look very lumpy) cook and whisk often until it’s thick and bubbly and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes. stir in the cayenne and parmesan until smooth.

add the pasta to the lamb and stir to combine. toss in the feta and stir. spoon the mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish. pour the cheese sauce over the pasta mixture, smoothing over with a spoon.

when ready to cook/eat, preheat the oven to 350 F.

bake until browned in spots, 35 to 45 minutes.

**if you’re eating it the next day or after freezing, set it out and let it get to room temperature before putting it in the oven. it may have to go for longer. it’ll be ready when the sides are bubbly and browned lightly on top.

remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

photo 2-3

 


photo 1-3

 

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