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Pastitsio with Crunchy Phyllo Top

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Total Time: 85 MIN Makes: 12 servings
Prep Time: 35 MIN Cook Time: 50 MIN
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Description

Wanting some comfort food? Look no further – this classic Greek baked pasta dish is a packed with flavor and topped with crispy layers of phyllo dough.


Ingredients
  • 1 pound mini penne pasta
  • 2 sticks butter, divided
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 jar (23 ounces) chunky or rustic style pasta sauce with onions & peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 roll Athens® Phyllo Dough (9” x 14”), thawed

Directions

Thaw one roll of phyllo, following thawing instructions on package. Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain and toss with 3 tablespoons melted butter and 1 cup parmesan cheese. Spread pasta mixture into a buttered 9 x 13” baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef for 8-10 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking it apart as it cooks. Drain. Stir in pasta sauce, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, cinnamon. Cook for another 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally as it thickens. Spoon meat sauce over pasta.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 stick of butter. Whisk in flour, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper cooking for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add in milk. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to low heat whisking 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Let cool for 10 minutes and mix in ½ cup parmesan and eggs. Spread on top of meat sauce. Bake for 20 minutes.

While dish is baking, unroll and cover phyllo sheets with plastic wrap, then a slightly damp towel to prevent drying out. Lay one sheet of phyllo on work surface. Lightly brush with melted butter and sprinkle a little parmesan. Using both hands, scrunch phyllo sheet into a loose ball about 3” in diameter. Repeat with remaining sheets of phyllo.

Remove baking dish from oven. Place the phyllo balls evenly across the top of sauce in 4 rows of 5. Brush phyllo with any remaining butter. Continue baking for 25-30 minutes or until phyllo is golden brown.


Nutrition

Serving size: 1 piece (275g), Amount per serving: Calories 650, Total Fat – 36g, Saturated fat – 18g, Trans Fat – 0g, Cholesterol – 135mg, Sodium – 700 mg, Dietary Fiber – 2g, Total Carbohydrate – 53g Sugars – 8g, Protein – 27g, Vitamin D –6%, Potassium – 6%, Calcium 20%, Iron 20%


Tips
  • It is important not to overcook pasta as it will continue cooking in the oven and boiling too long will cause it to be “gummy”.

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