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Greek Baked Ziti (Pastitsio)

Photo: Oxmoor House
Hands-on time 51 mins
Total time 1 hr, 55 mins
Yield Serves 10 (serving size: 1/10 of casserole)
In the Greek version of baked ziti, the noodles are mixed with two sauces: a lamb-and-tomato sauce and a milk-and-cheese sauce. I lightened the cream sauce by using 2% milk and fewer eggs. The casserole keeps for days in the refrigerator and cuts into neat little squares for reheating.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound lean ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) cans unsalted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 10 ounce uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • Fresh oregano leaves (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 383
  • fat 16.8 g
  • satfat 7.9 g
  • monofat 6.2 g
  • polyfat 1.2 g
  • protein 19.8 g
  • carbohydrate 38 g
  • fiber 3.7 g
  • cholesterol 108 mg
  • iron 2.9 mg
  • sodium 532 mg
  • calcium 199 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add lamb and beef; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomatoes, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing with a spatula or flat side of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat; set aside.

  2. While sauce cooks, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stirring with a whisk. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Gradually add remaining 2 1/2 cups milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring until smooth. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, and cook 1 minute or until slightly thick. Remove from heat. Gradually add hot milk to eggs, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Keep warm.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°.

  4. Cook pasta in boiling water 9 minutes or until al dente, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Stir 3 cups pasta into tomato sauce; stir remaining 3 cups pasta into white sauce.

  5. Spoon tomato-sauced pasta into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with white-sauced pasta, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes; sprinkle with oregano leaves, if desired.

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