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Greek Baked Pasta Recipe
The moist and fragrant casserole pastitsio combines béchamel (a sauce of butter, flour and milk), pasta, ground lamb, tomato sauce, cheese, cinnamon and nutmeg. Instead of béchamel, Grace Parisi stirs a ricotta mixture into the pasta before baking it.
Picture Credit: Yunhee Kim
Recipe By: Grace Parisi
Pairing Notes: Blends from the Italian grape Refosco and the Greek Mavrodaphne are fabulous with this Greek Baked Pasta.
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|Extra virgin olive oil||2 Tablespoon|
|Lean ground lamb||1 1/2 Pound|
|Onion||1 , finely chopped|
|Dried oregano||1 Teaspoon, crumbled|
|Pinch of ground cloves|
|Ground pepper||1 To taste|
|3 cups jarred marinara sauce|
|1 pound ziti or penne|
|Ricotta||3 Cup (16 tbs), pounded|
|Egg yolks||4 Large|
|Ground nutmeg||1/2 Teaspoon|
|3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese|
2. Cook the pasta until barely al dente; drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend 2 cups of the ricotta with the yolks, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the remaining ricotta.
3. Add the lamb ragù to the pasta and toss. Transfer the pasta to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the ricotta mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Turn the broiler on and broil until the top is golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.
The baked pasta can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve hot.