8 servings
  • For the Tomato Meat Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Bechamel:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan or Kasseri cheese
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage Total
  • 3/4 pound small shells

For the sauce, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the beef and lamb, and saute over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until it's no longer pink, crumbling it with the back of wooden spoon. Drain off any excess liquid, add the wine, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and cayenne, and continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the bechamel, heat the milk and cream together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until simmering. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Pour the warm milk and cream mixture into the butter and flour mixture, whisking constantly. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until smooth and thick. Add the nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of the tomato and meat sauce, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the eggs and yogurt and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Don't over-cook because the pasta will later be baked. Drain and set aside.

Add the pasta to the meat and tomato sauce, and pour the mixture into a baking dish. Spread the bechamel evenly to cover the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly. Set aside for 10 minutes and serve hot.

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Pairs Well With
Sauvignon Blanc

Acidic, refreshing white wine

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4.6 258
<p>I have never given a review online - this is my first and worth the time it takes to let everyone know this is the best recipe ever!  As I eat my leftovers for lunch right now, I think it's even better today than last night - if that is possible!  I am a huge Barefoot Contessa fan and have mad many of Ina's recipes in the past - this one as said below is "over the top".</p><p>I didn't have whole milk, heavy cream or yogurt - I was snowed in and used what I had -  so I used 2% milk and half and half.  the béchamel came out perfect!  I didn't have the parmesan cheese either, but I had the parmesan reggiano which I substituted which also came out perfect!  </p><p>I cant wait to make this for a dinner party! It is THAT GOOD!</p><p>Thanks Ina!</p> item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is absolutely outstanding. I am a huge Ina fan and this one is over the top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I halved the recipe because it was just my husband and I, but in retrospect, I wish I had made a full batch so I'd have even more leftovers. This recipe is delicious, and it's very simple to pull together. Will make again! item not reviewed by moderator and published love with this receipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this last night for the first time, the only modification made was i sauteed chopped carrots with the onions....OMG! This was amazing! I will definitely make this again but for a special occasion since it is a bit labor intensive (worth it though). item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this today, fabulous! I love this recipe and the house smells wonderful! I did double the béchamel recipe, because we love it so much! The time spent for prep is totally worth the end result! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I saw Ina recently in my hometown promoting her new book. Awesome experience!! When she mentioned this recipe, the audience moaned so I had to make it. It is DELICIOUS! I made it exactly as stated in the recipe. The cinnamon amount was just right. The bechemel is really good. The only thing I would change next time is using half the salt. We were so thirsty afterwards. I have a new oven that runs high so I baked it for 45 minutes, not an hour. This recipe takes some time to prepare, but worth every minute! Just have all of your ingredients measured before you start. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a little time consuming to make but it pays off huge! Delicious! Very good flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Should only have 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Other than that excellent. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish should be rated 100 stars! It's worth every second you spend preparing and baking. One of the best smelling foods i've ever made. Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
What kind of salt did you use? Kosher salt has bigger grains than table salt. Use a lot less of table salt. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Easy Comfort Food Recipes