Recipe by our loyal Greenmarket customer, Natasha
Made with Crushed Tomatoes
“Misko” Macaroni Pastitsio (no. 2) or Bucatini pasta
1 cup of pasta water
1 jar Crushed Tomatoes
1 tbsp extra virgin oilve oil
1 pound of organic ground beef
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup full bodied red wine
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf, (dried or fresh)
4 cups of organic milk
2 large eggs, beaten
6 tbsp of unsalted butter
7-8 tbsp of flour
3 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pasta: Boil a large pot of water with salt for your pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente (read package instructions), strain pasta (keep a cup of the pasta water on hand). Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350º F
Meat: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Chop onion into small pieces and add to pan to caramelize (about 5 minutes). Add the ground beef and cook until brown, then deglaze by adding the red wine. Mix and let simmer for 1-2 min. Add Crushed Tomatoes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf. Let simmer on medium heat until thickened and all flavors have combined nicely (you may need to add some of the pasta water). Remove bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Set aside.
Béchamel: Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and cook over medium heat to create a roux, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the milk into the roux, continuing to whisk. Cook stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until smooth and thick. Add nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper (or to taste). Stir in Parm Regg cheese and eggs until well combined.
Take a large ladle and scoop two ladlefuls of bechamel into your meat sauce, stirring to incorporate. Pour your pasta into the meat sauce and mix well.
Mix & Cook: Pour the sauced noodles into a large baking dish, patting them down gently so that there are no big air pockets in the mixture and surface is somewhat flattened. Pour the remaining bechamel sauce over the pasta in the baking dish and, using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread it so that it covers the surface of the noodles more or less evenly.
Place the loaded baking dish onto a large baking tray since you’ve now got a very heavy, very full casserole on your hands. This is only a precaution if your tray looks pretty full, and there is any chance of the bubble-over, it's a good thing to do. Bake for 45 minutes, until the dish is golden and bubbly.
Take it out of the oven and let it sit, undisturbed, for at least 10 minutes. The longer you let it sit, the better your servings will hold their shape.