I promise I did not make that word up, that is really what this dish is called and its delicious! I was first introduced to pastitsio about a year ago when I started experimenting with different cookbooks. I made it one night and Logan and I both loved it! The cinnamon in this dish is what really makes it a pastitsio, it sounds weird, but it is so good. It's an awesome change of pace from your average Italian pasta dish, you must try it. You can also use spaghetti noodles instead of penne and then you just layer it will the meat instead of mixing it all together. I urge you to try this, its easy and a great staple to add to your basket of tricks. Plus AGAIN you're cooking with red wine, which means you can drink it while your cooking, which always makes for a great recipe!
1 lb penne
2 lbs ground lamb (I used ground turkey)
2 onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1 can (6oz) tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups water
6 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Bring a pot of water to boil; add salt. Cook pasta, drain.
Meanwhile, cook meat in a large saucepan over med heat, breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 6-8 min. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 min. Drain off fat, if necessary.
Add wine to meat, cook over medium heat until almost all liquid evaporates, about 5 min.
Stir in tomato paste, cinnamon and water; simmer until thickened about 15 min. Season with S&P.
Meanwhile, make bechamel sauce. Melt butter over med heat. Whisk in flour until incorporated; cook, whisking, 1 min. IN a slow, steady stream, whisk in milk until completely smooth. Cook, whisking often, until mixture is bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 min. Stir in cayenne and parm.
Add pasta to meat; transfer to a 9x13 backing dish. Pour bechamel over the top, smoothing with back of spoon until level.
Bake until browned in spots, 35-40 min. Remove from oven and let cook 15 min before serving (this is essential or it will just fall apart on you).
Logan Rating: ****