A Mediterranean lasagna!
Michael Symon's Pastitsio
- For the Pasta:
- 1 pound Mustacholi or Penne
- Olive oil
- ¼ cup parsley (chopped)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup Parmesan or Kasseri cheese (grated)
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
For the Meat Sauce:
- Olive oil
- 1 or about 4 cup medium Eggplant (medium diced)
- 2 cup Onion (small diced)
- 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
- 2 pound Ground Sirloin
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 3 cup San Marzano Tomatoes (crushed)
- 2 sprigs Thyme (leaves only)
For the Bechamel:
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- ½ cup Flour
- 2 cup 2% Milk
- ½ cup Heavy Cream
- ¼ teaspoon Freshly Grated Nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ½ cup Parmesan or Kasseri Cheese
- For the Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente and set aside.
- For the Meat Sauce: Place a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add a film of olive oil and the eggplant. Cook the eggplant till it begins to brown and season with salt and pepper. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- To the same pan add some more olive oil and the onions and garlic with a large pinch of salt. Cook for 3 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Add the beef to this mixture, breaking it up as it cooks. Season with some more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- When the meat has browned, add the cinnamon, oregano, and thyme. Next add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Check for seasoning at this point, adding more if necessary. Set aside.
- For the Béchamel: Place a sauce pot over medium heat and add the butter.
- When the butter has melted, whisk in the flour.
- Next whisk in the milk and cream along with the cayenne, salt and pepper. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and begins to boil slightly. Turn the heat off and whisk in the parmesan, then set aside.
- To Assemble: In a 13x9 inch pan start to assemble the pastitsio. Using a third of the meat sauce, spread an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Put half of the pasta on top of this. Add another third of the meat sauce, then the rest of the pasta, topping with the rest of the meat sauce. Pour the béchamel over the top in an even layer. While the béchamel is soaking into the pasta, make the topping.
- To Top: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, Greek yogurt and parmesan. Pour this over the top of the pasta, spreading it into an even layer. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let set for 5 minutes, and then serve immediately!