The Food Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

GREEK BAKED MACARONI (PASTITSO)

2 lbs. ground beef
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 c. white wine
1 lb. macaroni
Grated cheese (Parmesan)
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Salt and pepper
3 eggs, beaten
4 c. Bechamel Sauce

Saute in skillet the ground beef with the onion, garlic and parsley. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, wine and tomato sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes and remove from fire. Meanwhile, boil the macaroni in salted water according to the directions on the package. When cooked, rinse and drain the macaroni; place it in a bowl; and add 1/4 pound melted butter, beaten eggs, and a generous sprinkling of grated cheese; mix well.
Spread half of the macaroni mixture on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan. Cover evenly with the meat sauce; sprinkle with the grated cheese; spread the remaining macaroni over meat; sprinkle lavishly with the grated cheese, dot with butter and sprinkle very lightly with a few pinches of cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for one (1) hour. Cool and cut into 3 inch squares.
BECHAMEL SAUCE (WHITE SAUCE) :
Melt (1/2 cup) butter in pan;
add (6 tablespoons) flour and stir until smooth. Lower heat, and gradually add the (4 cups) of hot milk, stirring constantly until it thickens. Season with salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
NOTE: In the original recipe, there were no directions as to when to add this sauce. I sometimes add it before the final layer of cheese on top; or after the cheese has been put on, I pour the sauce over the very top. I have found that I like it better put on before the final layer of cheese.

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