Monday, February 25, 2013


I missed a couple of weeks with Judy's What's Cooking? challenge, but here I am again.  This week our ingredient is cinnamon.  The addition of cinnamon to the meat sauce makes this an interesting casserole.  It's a hearty and filling dish, so I used to cook it more often when my boys were still at home -- the two of us will be enjoying leftovers several times this week! Salad and pita bread make nice accompaniments.

PASTITSIO - Greek 'lasagna'

1 lb macaroni
1 Tbl olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
salt and pepper
2 Tbl dried parsley
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbl butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. 
Drain and toss with 1 Tbl olive oil.
Spread into a 9 x 13 baking pan to create the first layer.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef and chopped onion in a large skillet.
Drain excess fat from pan.
Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper, parsley and cinnamon to browned meat, and stir all together.
Simmer meat mixture over low heat for about 15 - 20 minutes.

While meat mixture is simmering, make cheese sauce layer:
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
Whisk flour into melted butter.
In a slow steady stream, whisk milk into flour until smooth.
Increase heat and cook, mixing often, until mixture is thickened and bubbly, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool briefly while layering meat mixture over pasta in baking pan.
Stir beaten eggs and grated parmesan into milk mixture and combine all thoroughly.
Pour cheese sauce over meat layer in baking pan, covering all completely.

Bake at 375* for about 40 - 45 minutes, until top is browned.
Allow casserole to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

 8 - 10 hearty servings



Judy Laquidara said...

That looks interesting. I think Vince would love it .. I must try it! Thanks!

Sherrill said...

That sounds GOOD! What kind of macaroni did you use?

Julianne said...

Sounds good...I have used cinnamon in wild game dishes..I will have to try this..I am sure it is good.

Linda in Calif. said...

Oh Yum! I have to give this a try. I've had a few Greek dishes and loved them. I'm very eager to try this. Thanks!