Monday, October 4, 2010

Pasticchio..."Greek Lasagna"

I received this recipe from a woman I used to work with, Mary Ann during her first year of marriage. She was experimenting with new recipes and said her husband loved this one. She knew my husband also enjoys food and passed this on to me. I unfortunately can not even give credit to what recipe book she got it out of as I only got a copy.

Since the weather has felt a little fall like… even in SoCal,  I was trying to decide what to cook yesterday. When I mentioned Pasticchio my son’s eyes lit up… “Your Pasticchio?”… “Yes” I said… “I love your Pasticchio”… so there is was… decision made.  When my kids were small and I would say that I was making Pasticchio they would say…"what’s that?” … being Italian they knew what lasagna was so I just would explain it as "Greek Lasagna".
Yesterday, as I was cooking, I started to think about my friend who passed the recipe along and how long ago it was. 1985.… WOW… I have had this same piece of paper with this recipe for 25 years…time does fly…

So here we go…

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook 6 ounces (1-½ cups) elbow macaroni according to the package directions; drain. I usually cook a little extra…
Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, ¼ cup milk and 1 egg; set aside.
In a skillet, cook 1 lb. ground beef and ½ cup chopped onion until the meat is lightly browned and the onion is tender; drain off excess fat.
Stir in 1 - 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
I place the above ingredients in a bowl and then use the can from the tomato sauce to hold the grease drippings...

Layer ½ the macaroni mixture in an 8x8x2 -inch baking dish.

Spoon the meat mixture on top.

Add remaining macaroni mixture.

Meanwhile, melt 3 Tablespoons butter in a saucepan; blend in 3 Tablespoons flour and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Stir in 1-½ cups milk; cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more.

Stir ½ the sauce mixture into 1 egg; return all to the saucepan. Stir in ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
Spread the cream sauce over the macaroni and meat mixture already in the pan.
 Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

Iplace the pan on a baking sheet to catch any spills while baking...
Remove from oven and let it stand for 10 minutes.

I usually serve the Pasticchio with a side of applesauce.  When I first started to make this recipe I would do each step independently and the prep time was very long. Now I cook the macaroni while the meat is preparing and after those two steps are complete, I cook the cream sauce. Usually the prep time is about 30 to 40 minutes. I like the fact that while the Pasticchio is cooking you can clean up the kitchen and if you have guests over it gives time to visit while dinner is cooking.

I had some home made pie crusts in the freezer. While the Pasticchio was cooking I made an apple pie and that baked while we ate dinner...

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