Lamb Pastitsio With Butternut Squash and Bèchamel Sauce

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Total Time
1hr 44mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr 4 mins

"This feel-good food has all the makings of a delicious dish: pasta, savory meats, fire-roasted tomatoes and a rich and satisfying Béchamel sauce. Serve with a crisp, green salad for a complete meal." Either pennine, bucatini, penne, ditalini, elbow macaroni (regular size or small) or any other similar round, hollow pasta will work for this recipe. One half cup of the Parmesan was replaced with a mixture of feta and mizithra. The recipe was also cut in half and baked in an eight inch square Pyrex dish although it almost overflowed. Next time I would use a casserole dish a little bit bigger or at least place a drip tray in the oven. Want the dish vegetarian? Omit the meat and add extra squash, grated zucchini or carrots, etc. From Market of Choice. The pastitsio was served for our official New Year's Eve lunch-see the menu here Menu #71572. It's useful to have an extra person to help prep the recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Original recipe: Peel the uncooked squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Dice into 1/2” cubes (approx. 6 c). Season with salt and pepper and steam or sauté until tender (approx. 15 min); set aside.
  2. ------->> Or, *my change:* I cut the squash in half lengthwise and placed the two pieces on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Drizzled lightly with olive oil, light sprinkle of ground cinnamon, salt and pepper and roasted @ 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until tender. The flesh was scooped out, mashed with a fork and stored covered in the fridge. This was done the day before to cut down on prep time.
  3. Heat up the olive oil In a large sauce pan on medium heat and sautè onion 3 minutes, until slightly softened.
  4. Add lamb and beef and cook 6-8 min; drain off all excess fat.
  5. Add wine, parsley, tomatoes and seasonings; simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Add breadcrumbs, adjust seasoning if necessary; set aside.
  7. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente (you want the pasta *slightly* undercooked). Drain and toss with butter, eggs and 1 cup Parmesan/cheese mixture; set aside.
  8. Prepare Béchamel sauce: In a sauce pan, melt butter, slowly whisk in flour and stir constantly approximately 5 minute Add milk, whisking constantly. Stir until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat, cool slightly and stir in eggs, nutmeg, salt and white pepper.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Grease 9”x13” baking dish with olive oil. Place half of the pasta on the bottom in an even layer pressing lightly with a flat spatula. Spoon meat mixture over pasta, spread evenly.
  11. Top with squash (I spread the squash puree with a spatula), repeat with remaining pasta, pressing down lightly. Finish with Béchamel, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. (I stirred the cheese into the Bèchamel sauce and melted it until smooth). Lightly sprinkle the top with Greek oregano.
  12. Bake 45 min, until crust is light golden brown. Important: Let rest 20 minutes before serving.