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This recipe was inspired by my aunt Dalla in Greece. I made this for the first time yesterday, and it came out very very very very very very very very very very very very TASTY! IMPORTANT: Okay, here's the thing about this recipe: The Béchamel: If you like thick and rich, I would not follow the recipe below for the béchamel. Instead, I would use one whole stick of butter, add enough flour until the mixture turns into a ball, and then gradually add 4 cups of milk. This is the béchamel that I use for pastitsio and moussaka. However, I think that this is way too heavy for this recipe, although if anyone does decide to do that, please let me know how it comes out.
- 1 lb egg noodles
- 2 ham slices (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1⁄2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- 5 basil leaves, chopped
- olive oil
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese (you like it cheesier, add more than that)
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
- grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese or pecorino romano cheese or kefalotiri
- 1⁄4-3⁄8 cup butter (4 tbs.)
- 2 cups milk
- In a large pot with salted water, boil the egg noodles half-way, roughly about 4 minutes. Drain and add into a large oven pan. Toss noodles in some olive oil so they won't stick.
- Season them with some grated pecorino-romano, whatever you like and toss. (Even eat them like that if you want -- hee hee.).
- In the meantime, heat a skillet with a few drops olive oil, and sauté the onion, parsley, basil,ham and peppers for a few seconds.
- Add them to the noodles and toss around.
- Cut half of your mozzarella into chunks and place them into the noodle mixture so that when it is cooked you can bite into a mozzarella pocket. Grate the rest of the mozzarella and use for the topping later.
- For the béchamel: In a small saucepan on low to medium heat, melt half a stick of butter (okay maybe even 3/4 of a stick).
- Add enough flour to make a smooth paste. I never measure the flour part because I usually just let it form into a ball, BUT you don't want that here. I'd say about 4 tablespoons of flour should be enough.
- Add two cups of milk and stir till it thickens. BUT WAIT- Don't let it fully thicken because you will add some more grated cheese and half of your cheddar cheese into the béchamel. It should still be a bit milky when you remove it from the heat.
- NOW add half of your cheddar and stir it inches.
- Add some more grated parmesan (or whatever you like) and stir that in too.
- Season the béchamel with some pepper and parika.
- Pour the béchamel onto the noodles and toss around until evenly coated. The sauce should be velvety.
- Top with grated mozzarella and cheddar, more parmesan or whatever other grated cheese you have on hand, and some dried Greek oregano. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs and a few drops of olive oil and VOILA -- my mess! (That's what I should have called this recipe).
- Cover with aluminum foil and cook like that for about 30 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Then remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes until crust turns golden brown, or just put under the broiler for a few minutes.