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Make certain you have a large 10-inch deep-dish pie plate for this! You can also make this in a baking dish. The complete recipe can be prepared and layered in a pie plate, then refrigerated for up a day in advance (even better to let the flavors in the sauce blend together!) then baked the next day, just let sit out at room temperature for 45 minutes before baking. To save time make the meat sauce up to 2 days in advance.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or to taste)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups cooked macaroni (macaroni should measure 2 cups after cooking)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon seasoning salt (or to taste)
- black pepper
- 1 (14 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
- 1 (5 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter (no subs)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup half-and-half cream
- 1 cup cream-style cottage cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Set oven to 350 degrees.
- Great a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate.
- In a skillet melt butter over medium heat; add in onion, garlic, oregano and dryed red chili flakes (if using) saute for about 3 minutes.
- Add in ground beef; cook for about 7-10 minutes or until beef is longer pink.
- Add in 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, season with seasoning salt and pepper; drain off fat.
- Stir in the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste; simmer for about 25-30 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in chopped fresh parsley; set aside.
- TO MAKE WHITE SAUCE; in a heavy saucepan melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour and cook whisking for about 2 minutes (do not brown!).
- Gradually add in the half and half cream and a pinch of cayenne pepper; cook whisking for about 3 minutes or until thickened and smooth; remove from heat and add in the creamed cottage cheese, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper; mix well to combine.
- Generously butter the pie plate and sprinkle about 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs in the bottom.
- Top with HALF of the cooked macaroni pasta.
- Spread all of the meat mixture evenly over top, pressing down slightly.
- Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
- Spoon the remaining macaroni over the top of the Parmesan.
- Carefully pour ALL of the white sauce over the top of the macaroni.
- Sprinkle about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese on top (or to taste).
- Place the pie plate on a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until golden.
- Let sit for about 15 minutes or longer before slicing (the longer you leave it sit the easier it will be to slice!).
Oh my... is this ever a delightful dish. The cinnamon and nutmeg add such a unique and delectably, wonderful flavor to the sauces. I have never had, nor made this wonderful Greek dish before and it was a joy to experience. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed it!! Thank you, Kittencal!!
This is a delicious variation of one of my favorite Greek dishes. It does take a bit of time to make, but it's not difficult, and the final result is well worth it! I used about half the listed amount of red pepper. The flavors are wonderful! Thanks for posting!