Most of you probably know this recipe as a pasta and meat casserole. It is an authentic Greek dish and very yummy to say the least. If you are looking for a hearty meal to cook, and you love pasta, meat, and béchamel sauce, this is the best recipe. (Your kitchen might end up looking like a mess, but hey this recipe is worth it.)
Prep Time- 45 minutes
Cook Time- 45 minutes
Total time- 1 hour and 30 minutes
Yields about 24 servings
1/2 Cup of olive oil
2 Pounds of ground beef
1 Yellow onion- minced
2 Cloves of garlic- minced
1/4 cup of red wine
1 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
4 tbsp of chopped parsley
2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of all spice
1 Pinch salt & pepper
1 Teaspoon dried cumin
1 Teaspoon of dried oregano
1 3/4 cups of grated Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp of bread crumbs- I make my own, just use French bread loaf and grind in blender.
1 package of Macaroni- penne pasta
4 egg whites-
1 stick of butter- unsalted
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 quart of milk
8 egg yolks
Sea salt and ground pepper
2 tsp of ground nutmeg
To prepare the meat filling, heat a large pan over medium heat with olive oil. Add in the ground beef and cook until the beef is pink. (About 5 -6 minutes.) Add in the wine, tomato sauce, garlic, onion, parsley, cinnamon, salt & pepper, all spice, cumin, and oregano. Have the sauce simmer for about ten minutes. (While the sauce is simmering, boil the water for the pasta.)
When the pasta is done, rinse and drain. Rinse under cool water. Set aside.
Stir in the bread crumbs into the meat sauce, to absorb the liquids. Remove the pan from the heat. Next melt 1/2 cup of butter in the pasta pot, and place the pasta back into the pot. Mix the melted butter and pasta together. Mix in the beaten egg whites, and 1 cup of cheese.
In a baking dish or lasagna dish, brush the dish with olive oil. Start by layering the pasta on the bottom. Place half the pasta on the bottom of the baking dish. Add the meat filling to the top of the pasta, making sure it is evened out. Repeat the same steps.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or 200 C. prepare the béchamel sauce.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. While using a whisk, add flour to the melted butter and whisking frequently to make a smooth roux or paste. Cook the mixture for about a minute, but making sure not to burn it.
Add in the warm milk to the roux and whisk. Simmer on medium heat until the sauce thickens.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the beaten egg yolks. Add the nutmeg and salt & pepper.
Pour the béchamel sauce over the casserole, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees or 200 c. (For about 45 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown on top.)
Remove from the oven and let cool, cut in squares and serve with some fresh parsley on top.