by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Pastitsio + Stitches = PASTITCHIO!?
slightly adapted from Falling Cloudberries
by Tessa Kiros
4 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ c. white wine
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes w/ their juices
1 lb. Rigatoni (or any short pasta)
~2 Tbs. butter
½ tsp. dried mint
1 Tbs. bread crumbs
4 oz. butter
1 c. all-purpose flour
4 c. warm milk
freshly grated nutmeg
Tessa uses an oval-shaped baking dish that is 14" long, 10" wide, and 2½" deep. It fits exactly in this pan, I used my lasagna pan which measures 12" x 8½" x 2½" and it fit exactly. Try to use a pan that is approximately one of these sizes.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes less than it says on the package. Drain and put in a bowl. Mix in the butter, crumble the mint between your fingers and add it, and toss in the bread crumbs. Mix well and spoon half over the bottom of your greased baking dish. Pour the meat mixture over the top so it evenly covers the pasta. Add the remaining pasta over the top in an even layer. Press down with a wooden spoon so that it is fairly compact. Set aside and make the bechamel sauce.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring. Drizzle in warm milk slowly, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper, and grate in some fresh nutmeg. Continue cooking for ~5 minutes or so after it comes to a boil, until very thick and smooth. Pour bechamel over the whole dish evenly. This should fit exactly in the dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden in parts. Cool a bit before cutting into squares to serve, giving it time to set up.
I am also sharing this post with:
*Gay of Scientist in the Kitchen who is hosting PPN this week
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.