Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Tonight I'm making my hubby's favorite dish for dinner. Pastitsio is a greek layered baked dish which consists mainly of a tubular type pasta, cheese, egg, ground meat, tomato sauce, and Bechamel.

The greek word Pastitsio takes its name from the Italian pasticcio, otherwise referred to as "lasagna al forno" in some regions of Italy.

For this dish I'm going to use Bucatini, which are long hollow tubes of pasta, slightly thicker than spaghetti. This dish freezes well and can be easily reheated in the microwave.

Makes 8 servings
# Filling:
# 1 pound uncooked bucatini pasta or spaghetti
# 1 pound ground sirloin or lean ground beef
# 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
# 3 garlic cloves, minced
# 1/2 cup dry white wine
# 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
# 1/2 teaspoon salt
# 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
# 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

# White sauce:
# 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
# 1/2 teaspoon salt
# 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
# 2 large eggs
# 2 large egg whites (additional)
# 5 tablespoons shredded kasseri or aged white cheddar cheese, divided
# Cooking spray
# 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare filling, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Rinse with cold water; set aside.

Cook beef, onion and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble. Add wine, tomato sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until thick.

To prepare white sauce, place flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; set aside. Combine eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk until well blended. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in 1 tablespoon kasseri cheese until blended.

Spread 1 cup beef mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of pasta over beef mixture. Top with 1 1/2 cups beef mixture. Repeat layers with remaining pasta and beef mixture. Top with white sauce. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons kasseri and Romano cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.



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