I've seen this dish floating around the internet, quite a bit lately. On blogs, then mentioned on Cooking for your family. Intrigued to see if it really did taste a good as everyone claimed it did; I jumped on the pastitsio band wagon. One thing I looked for is a recipe that wasn't too involved. Though I love to cook, I don't really have that much time to spend in the kitchen, unless Hubby is home. Little hands always seem to find something to get into and my stress free time in the kitchen turns into a stress filled dash to get it done, so I can become the warden again, LOL.
One of the ladies on CFYF shared this version, which she got from Taste of Home. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite recipe sources and I recently subscribed to their magazine. I liked that this recipe was pretty straight forward. Meat sauce, bechamel and pasta. I could handle that.
I was a bit hesitant about the cinnamon in the recipe. I think of cinnamon as a sweet spice, not savory. I did however want to get the full effect of the recipe, so I used it. Let's just say it was interesting. The meat sauce by itself was sweet; something we aren't used to. But, with the creamy bechamel layer, everything just melded into a very delicious exotic flavor. The kids only ended up eating the bechamel layer, LOL. No amount of explaining that they should eat both layers together helped. The guys (Hubby and my nephew) both inhaled this, as if they hadn't eaten in weeks. So, now we finally know why everyone is so crazy about this dish. It's pretty darn tasty!
Adapted from Taste of Home December 2010
7 oz uncooked elbow macaroni
1 lb ground beef or lamb
1 med onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
8 oz tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ c. Grated Parmesan
3 Tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ cups milk
1 egg beaten
Cook macaroni according to package
Cook beef, onion, and garlic until beef is no longer pink, drain. Stir in tomato sauce, ½ t. salt, oregano, pepper, and cinnamon.
Drain Macaroni and place ½ in greased 9 inch square baking pan. Sprinkle with ¼ cup cheese. Layer meat and macaroni. Set aside
In small saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour and salt and stir until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to boil and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Remove from heat. Stir a little of the hot mixture into the egg. Return all to pan stirring constantly. Bring to boil. Return to heat and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.
Pour sauce over macaroni.
Bake uncovered at 350º for 30-35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Cindy's notes: I used Ditali pasta, instead of macaroni. This could be made with any kind of tube pasta.
This post linked to
Tasty Tuesday (33 Shades of Green)