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Lamb Pastitsio

Lamb PastitsioPastitsio is a prime example that comfort food exists in every culture. Pasta, cheese and a subtly sweet tomato-lamb sauce give this dish its signature flavor.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups macaroni pasta, cooked according to package directions
6 tablespoons butter - divided use
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced or ready-cut tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 large eggs - divided use
1/3 cup soft bread crumbs

Cooking Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. For White Sauce: Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour. Gradually whisk in milk and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Add Parmesan cheese and stir until melted; cover and remove from the heat.
  3. For Filling: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add lamb, onion and garlic and cook until browned, stirring occasionally; drain. Stir in oregano, salt, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. Combine reserved tomato liquid with tomato paste and stir into lamb mixture. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes; stir in tomatoes, continue to cook until heated thoroughly, then set aside.
  4. Combine 1 egg yolk and about one fourth of white sauce in a mixing bowl; set aside. Grease a 9-inch square dish; set aside.
  5. Beat remaining egg white and eggs with remaining white sauce; gently stir in cooked macaroni. Spread half into prepared dish. Spoon lamb mixture on top; top with remaining macaroni mixture. Drizzle the egg yolk/white sauce mixture on top.
  6. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in soft bread crumbs and toss until evenly coated. Sprinkle over top of casserole.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325°F (160°C) and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 servings.