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Adapted from Ina Garten. A Greek version of lasagne, this dish combines ground meat (beef and lamb) and pasta with a white sauce, tomatoes and spices. Adjust the amount of cinnamon based on the strength of your supply.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1⁄2 cup dry red wine
- 3 garlic cloves, minced fine
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (packed in juice)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 1⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 eggs
- 2⁄3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3⁄4 lb ziti pasta (or other medium-sized tubular pasta)
- Preheat oven to 350°F In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and saute until soft, 5 minutes. Add meats and saute until no longer pink, about 10 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces with the edge of a spoon. Add wine and cook 2 minutes to boil off some of the alcohol. Add garlic, cinnamon, oregano and thyme; cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes (with their juices), salt and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a medium saucepan, combine milk and cream. Heat to a bare simmer over medium-low heat.
- In another saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook until pasty flavor is gone but roux is still pale, 2-3 minutes. Whisking constantly, add hot milk/cream. Cook 5 minutes, still whisking constantly, until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and add nutmeg, salt, white pepper, half the Parmesan, and 1/2 cup of meat sauce. Set aside to cool 10 minutes. Beat eggs lightly, then whisk yogurt into eggs. Whisk this mixture into cooled white sauce.
- Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.
- Combine pasta with meat sauce and pour into a large casserole dish. Pour white sauce evenly over the top, then sprinkle evenly with remaining Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes before serving. (Tastes even better the second day when the flavors have time to meld; reheat from room temperature in 350F oven for 15-20 minutes.).