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I got the original idea for this recipe from "Home Cooking" cook book and have developed it through the years to one of our favorites. It is wonderful. I'm sure anyone who tries it will add it to their list of favorites.
- 1 lb lean ground beef or 1 lb ground sirloin
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with puree
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic (per taste)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- salt and pepper
- 9 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb small curd cottage cheese
- 2 cups Italian cheese blend (4 cheese mixture)
- 1 teaspoon salt (kosher)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 phyllo pastry sheets
- SAUCE Place olive oil in large skillet.
- Add garlic and brown for about 2 minutes.
- Add ground beef and brown.
- Drain off excess grease.
- Add crushed tomatoes.
- Add tomato paste.
- Add nutmeg, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for at least 1 hour.
- While this is cooking prepare the filling.
- FILLING Trim ends from spinach.
- Cook until wilted.
- Drain off all excess liquid and squeeze dry.
- Beat 2 eggs.
- Add cottage cheese and spinach.
- Add 1 cup of Italian blend cheese.
- Salt and pepper.
- CRUST Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 13x9 pan (preferrably glass) with non stick spray.
- Pour sauce into pan.
- Top with filling.
- Cover with rest of cheese.
- Take one sheet of Phyllo at a time and brush with melted butter until you have 8 layers.
- Bake at 350 deg.
- for 1 hour or until top is golden brown.
- Let stand for at least 15 minutes.
- Cut into squares and serve.
Very good and easy to construct. I made this with vegetarian soy crumbles instead of the ground beef, and layered phyllo at the bottom of the pan to just to make for an easier to serve meal and it turned out excellent. Very crowd pleasing!
This recipe surprised me. It has a wonderful flavor and the phyllo crust gave it a real Mediterranean appeal.