Pastitsio

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Prep time: 50 Minutes

Total time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

Yield: Serves 8

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Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 lb. penne cooked and drained
  • 2 lbs. ground lamb
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta, and drain; reserve. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over medium heat, cook lamb, breaking apart pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a colander; drain fat, and discard. Return lamb to pan; add wine. Cook over medium heat until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cinnamon, and 2 cups water; simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Make Parmesan Cheese Sauce while mixture is simmering: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; whisk in flour until incorporated, about 30 seconds. In a slow steady stream, whisk in milk until there are no lumps. Cook, whisking often, until mixture is thick and bubbly and coats the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cayenne, if desired, and Parmesan.
  4. Add pasta to lamb mixture; transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour sauce over the top, smoothing with the back of a spoon until level. Bake until browned in spots, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven; let cool 15 minutes before serving.
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