Beef: Pastitso

posted by SueFreeman 05-09-101 10:32 PM

Recipes by chef Heather Nicolozakes

2 lbs. ground round
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T chopped parsley
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb macaroni noodles
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup to 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups bechamel sauce (recipe follows)

Saute ground round with onion and garlic, parsley and crumble meat as you fry it so it is finely mixed. Drain grease if any and then add tomato sauce, wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes and remove from heat. Set aside.

Boil macaroni to al dente. When cooked, rinse and drain well. Place in a large mixing bowl and add melted butter, beaten eggs and 1/2 of the grated cheese. Mix well.

Spread half of the macaroni mixture on the bottom of a well greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Cover evenly with meat sauce and sprinkle with other half of cheese. Top with the macaroni. Using the end of a wooden spoon put holes in the top so the sauce can drain down through and pull sides of casserole away from side of dish so sauce will drain down sides. You can spread it out later.

Spread sauce over top and smooth over until well covered and even. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

To freeze this, bake for 35 to 40 minutes and cool and then freeze it. Take it out the night before and put in fridge and thaw it out that way. Don't cover when reheating, and bake til it is heated and through and golden brown on top. You want a crusty golden top.

Bechamel Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
6 T flour
4 cups hot milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
salt and white pepper to taste

Melt butter in saucepan and add flour and stir until smooth. Lower heat and gradually incorporate hot milk, stirring constantly until thickens. Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper.

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