Recipe by Dr. Jenny
DH and I enjoyed this nice twist on pastitsio last night for dinner. It gave me a good excuse to use up some of my ras-el-hanout spice that I have in abundance. I liked that there was very little prep involved in this recipe. I got it from the March 2011 issue of "Bon Appetit." Prep time does not include resting time.
Top Review by sheepdoc
This was great. I was kind of expecting Moroccan chili-mac but this was way better. I didn't have dried mint so used fresh. Made 1/2 recipe in 11x7 pan. Made meat mixture and cheese sauce the night before and reheated everything before assembly, cooked for 40 minutes. Made for ZWT9.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄4 cups chopped red onions
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons ras el hanout spice mix
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups whole milk, divided
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (1 stick)
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 lb penne rigate
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
Directions See How It's Made
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until onion softens, about 5 minutes.
- Add lamb; cook until brown, breaking into small pieces, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes with juice, mint, ras-el-hanout, tomato paste, 2 1/2 tsp cumin, and cinnamon. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until lamb mixture is thick, stirring often, 15 to 18 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, bring 2 cups milk to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm. Melt 6 Tb butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until roux is pale golden, whisking often, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually add warm milk to roux, whisking until sauce is smooth.
- Whisk 1 cup milk and 3 egg yolks in medium bowl; whisk into sauce. Whisk in feta and 1/2 tsp cumin. Bring sauce to boil, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until slightly thickened, mashing with potato masher to break up cheese, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm over low heat, whisking often, before using.
- Preheat oven to 400°F Butter deep 14-cup (we used 9x13") baking dish. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; return to same pot. Mix 2 Tb butter into pasta. Add egg whites and 1/4 cup Parmesan; stir to blend.
- Spread 4 cups pasta in dish. Spread lamb mixture over. Top with remaining pasta. Spoon sauce over; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Place dish on rimmed baking sheet. Bake pastitsio until heated through, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes.