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Ina Garten’s Pastitsio

Ina Garten's Pastitsio
YIELDS
8 servings

2009, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved.

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Ingredients

Tomato Meat Sauce

3
Tbsp good olive oil
1 ½
cups yellow onion, chopped (1 large)
1
lb(s) lean ground beef
1
lb(s) lean ground lamb
½
cup dry red wine
1
Tbsp garlic, minced (3 large cloves)
1
Tbsp ground cinnamon
1
tsp dried oregano
1
tsp thyme leaves
1
pinch cayenne pepper
1
can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes in purée
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bechamel Sauce

1 ½
cups whole milk
1
cup heavy cream
4
Tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter
¼
cup all-purpose flour
¼
tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ½
cups freshly grated Parmesan
2
extra-large eggs, beaten
cup Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage Total
¾
lb(s) small shells
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Directions

Step 1

For the sauce, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add the beef and lamb and sauté over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes until it’s no longer pink, crumbling it with the back of wooden spoon.

Step 3

Drain off any excess liquid, add the wine, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, and cayenne, and continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Step 5

For the bechamel, heat the milk and cream together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until simmering. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Pour the warm milk and cream mixture into the butter and flour mixture, whisking constantly. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until smooth and thick. Add the nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of the tomato and meat sauce, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the eggs and yogurt and set aside.

Step 6

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Don’t over-cook because the pasta will later be baked. Drain and set aside.

Step 7

Add the pasta to the meat and tomato sauce, and pour the mixture into a baking dish. Spread the bechamel evenly to cover the pasta and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly. Set aside for 10 minutes and serve hot.

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