Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Delicious Greek Pastitsio

 I figured before it warms up too much I should make some more casseroles, soups, and winterish food before I can't do it for another 6 months.

Okay it's not like I can't, I just hate turning the oven on in the middle of summer.  Totally makes me grumpy.

Sometimes I just love casseroles.  It says "comfort food" all over it, especially on blustery days.  Which we seem to get so much in the spring.

This casserole (which I have no idea is the real thing because I don't think I have ever had real greek food in my life) was a huge hit for my family.  How can you go wrong with cheese, noodles, sirloin, and creamy sauce!  See comfort food right there. Not to mention is was super easy and super fast.  Perfect!

Delicious Greek Pastitsio

(click here for printable version)

12 ounces penne pasta
1 pound ground turkey or ground sirloin
1 cup chopped yellow onion
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
8 ounces light cream cheese
2 cups milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, optional but delicious

1.  Cover a 9X13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the broiler.

2.  In a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water, cook the penne pasta according to package directions.

3.  While the pasta is cooking, heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add beef or turkey to the pan with the diced onions and 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring to break up the meat into small pieces, until the meat is cooked through. Drain excess grease from the meat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute or so. Sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture, stirring to combine, and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Add the cream cheese in pieces, scattering it over the meat. Let it melt into the meat and stir to combine. Whisk or stir in the milk, nutmeg and tomatoes. Stir to combine well and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook 5-6 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened and is thoroughly heated through.

4.  Stir in the pasta and spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the pasta and broil for about 3-5 minutes, watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parsley. Let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
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