Posted by: Michelle Mitton | July 27, 2008

Pasticcio

PasticcioI was randomly flipping through my recipe books, planning out my menu for the week and desperately looking for inspiration, when it hit me–pasticcio! I wanted pasticcio! Which sounds funny that something a little off the beaten path would hit my craving button so hard but it did and I made it and I was very happy.

This is a quick and easy recipe that I just LOVE. The spices simmering are so rich and teasing that I’m always tempting to just lick the stuff up right out of the pan if it didn’t threaten to burn my tongue. If you’ve never tried this Greek casserole dish or if you’ve never put cinnamon on your meat before it may sound odd but trust me, I promise you’ll be a convert.

As always I’ve tweaked the recipe in the book to suit our family so here’s my version which makes enough for two meals (I like to cook in double batches and have leftovers the second day to save time and money):

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 cups ground lamb
1 small can of tomato paste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 14-ounce can of chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
13 ounces of whole wheat pasta such as macaroni or rotini
2 large tomatoes, sliced
2 8-ounce containers of plain yogurt
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until softened then add the ground lamb and cook until browned and broken up. Add the tomato paste and sprinkle the mixture with flour. Stir to coat then cook for one minute before adding the chicken broth. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon then bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook gently for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta until tender and strain. Combine the yogurt and eggs in a separate bowl and mix well to combine before adding the strained pasta and stirring to coat the noodles with the yogurt/egg mix. Once the meat sauce is done spoon it into a large casserole dish and top with slices of tomato. Spoon the noodle/egg/yogurt mixture over the top of the tomatoes and bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

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