Thursday, January 3, 2013

Greek Pastitsio

Happy 2013 everyone!  There's so many goals we have for the blog this year, but our #1 goal is to bring you great & fabulous recipes 3 times a week.  That's a big undertaking and will take lots of preparation on our part, but we're determined!  Also, Kyla is going to take a bigger role...she's going to have 2-3 recipes a month that she is in charge of.  I may still have to help her with the blogging side of it, but she's going to be finding, taking pictures and making it pretty much by herself!  She really is a great cook & I'm excited to try some of her stuff (and not have to cook a few times each month!)

Hope you are as excited as we are for this new year!  And with that we'll get on to today's recipe.

Pastitsio just means a casserole layered with pasta, meat and cheeses.  Nothing too fancy about that, although it's really fun to say & it sounds pretty impressive.  But this recipe is more than just pasta, meat and cheeses.  Add the spices and vegetables to it and you've got a wonderful main dish.

(You can make this dish healthier by substituting whole grain penne, using lean ground turkey, light cream cheese, skim milk and part-skim mozzarella...yeah for all of us with that certain new year's resolution that I seem to have EVER SINGLE YEAR!!):)

Greek Pastitsio


1 pound (16 oz.) penne pasta
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces cream cheese (light works well)
2 cups milk (skim is great)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook the penne pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking brown your beef or turkey with the onion in a large skillet over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drain grease from skillet and then add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and then stir to combine.  Break the cream cheese into pieces and add to the meat mixture.  Let it melt and little and stir to combine.  Pour in the milk, nutmeg, and tomatoes.  Stir to combine and then cook over medium heat until simmering.  Let simmer for 5-7 minutes until mixture is slightly thickened.

Stir the pasta into the meat mixture and then pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.  Sprinkle the mozarella cheese over the pasta and place until the broiler for about 3-5 minutes or until cheese is browned.  Watch it really closely or you'll have black cheese!!

Remove from the oven and serve.

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