Sunday, February 27, 2011

Recipe for Beef and Lamb Pastitsio

Adapted from Food and Wine Greek Baked Pasta
Makes 10 hearty servings each approximately 530 calories, 27 grams fat, 41 grams carbs, 3.4 grams fiber,  31 grams protein; 14 WW Points+

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pounds lean ground lamb
3/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups jarred marinara sauce
1 pound multigrain penne
2.5 cups part skim ricotta
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the oregano, cinnamon, cloves and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.  Add in meat and onion and cook until the meat is no longer pink and any liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
Add the marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.
Cook the pasta until barely al dente; drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, in a blender (USE FOOD PROCESSOR), blend 1/2 of the ricotta with the yolks, nutmeg and 1/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse in the remaining ricotta.
Add the meat ragù to the pasta and toss. Transfer the pasta to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the ricotta mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Turn the broiler on and broil until the top is golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.