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Pastitsio > Traditional Greek May 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.

Ingredients >

3-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 stick butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 8-ounce can tomato paste
Pepper and salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups water
1 cup Romano cheese grated
2 pounds long macaroni (preferably Misko No 2, Greek macaroni)
2 tablespoons salt
6 egg whites

Bechamel Sauce >
2 sticks butter
1 cup flour
9 cups warm milk
Salt to taste
6 egg yolks

Method >

Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and saute them over medium heat, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add ground beef, breaking up meat with a spoon. Cook until browned. Add pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Then add the tomato sauce and paste, as well as the water. Bring to a boil; lower heat to simmer and cook for one hour. Remove from the heat.

In a deep pot with lid, bring one gallon of water to a rapid boil. Add salt and macaroni. Boil 15 minutes until nearly done. It should be a little undercooked. Remove the macaroni from the heat, drain and rinse with cold water. Return to a large mixing bowl; add beaten egg whites, cinnamon and Romano cheese. Mix thoroughly.

In a sauce pan, melt the two butter sticks over a medium heat. Add flour slowly and cook until mixture is golden (about 10 minutes or less). Gradually stir in the warm milk and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly (it will come to a slow boil). Carefully combine with egg yolks and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly, season with salt.

Grease a pan (approximately 13 by 21 inches) with butter. Layer half of the macaroni into the bottom of the pan. Spoon the meat sauce evenly on top of the layer of macaroni. Layer remaining macaroni on top of the meat sauce, then spoon cream sauce evenly on top of the second layer of macaroni. Sprinkle Romano cheese on top of cream before baking. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for approximately one hour, until golden brown. Let sit for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Servings 18-24 (cut proportions in half for family dinner).

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