Pastitsio

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

For the pasta and filling:

Kosher salt

1 pound ziti

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

1 pound ground beef or lamb (or a combination)

1 onion, chopped

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 15 -ounce can tomato sauce

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups grated kefalotyri or parmesan cheese (about 6 ounces)

For the bechamel:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups plain 2 percent Greek yogurt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Kosher salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cinnamon and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 more minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and wine and cook until the wine starts to evaporate, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato sauce, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the parsley and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs and remove from the heat.
  2. When the pasta is done, drain and return to the pot off the heat; stir in the butter, then the beaten eggs and 1 cup cheese until the pasta is coated.
  3. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Spread half of the pasta in the dish, then top with the meat filling and the remaining pasta.
  4. Make the bechamel: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking, 1 minute. (Do not let the flour brown.) Whisk in the yogurt and 3/4 cup water and gently simmer, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 5 more minutes. (Do not let the mixture boil.) Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs, nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  5. Pour the bechamel evenly over the pasta in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs and bake until golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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