|Pasticho and Greek Salad|
900 grams spaghetti (approx. 2lbs)
3 lbs lean ground beef
6 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup flour
5 cups warm milk
4 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 tsp salt
Grated parmesan cheese and bread crumbs to sprinkle on top.
1. Start preparing the pasta. Fill a large stock pot with water. Add salt. Bring salted water to a rolling boil and slowly add the spaghetti stirring constantly. Do not overcook. When done, drain, mix the grated cheese and unbeaten eggs into the pasta and set aside.
2. While you are waiting for the water to boil for the pasta, melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook for about 20 minutes to brown, stirring often. Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes stirring often.
3. In a large deep baking dish (I use a 15 x 10 x 3 dish)**, spread half the pasta mixture onto the bottom. Spread the meat mixture on top and then put the rest of the pasta mixture on top of the meat.
4. Prepare the bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, remove from heat and stir in the flour a 1/4 cup at a time, blending until smooth with a whisk. Slowly add the warm milk, stirring all the time. Add the slightly beaten eggs (I usually add the salt to the eggs). Cook over low heat stirring until thick.
5. Ladle and spread the bechamel sauce evenly on the top layer of spaghetti. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and bread crumbs on top.
6. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes, until custard has set. If the top is not browned enough, place under broiler for a few minutes watching carefully so as not to burn.
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