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Greek Pasta Bake





I consider this to be a moussaka inspired pasta bake. It lacks moussaka’s béchamel sauce, eggplants, and about a million other things. It does have the a tomato based meat sauce that steals all the herbs and spices right out of my moussaka recipe, however, and is topped with feta and pecorino cheeses. It’s easier and faster to make than moussaka and is a welcome addition to my greek recipe rolodex.

You can prepare this ahead of time and freeze it before you bake it; you can make a double recipe and freeze the other half. Or just make the darn thing, bake it, and eat it the same day if you are hungry now, darn it! 

I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground lamb
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
pinch cayenne
2 cups dried rigatoni
4 ounce feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup pecorino romano, shredded

Method:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When shimmering, add the beef, lamb and half a teaspoon salt. Brown the meats until not longer pink. Remove to the plate. 

Add the onion and pepper and the remaining salt; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add back in the meats, garlic, oregano, nutmeg, onion powder, basil, pepper, thyme and tomato paste. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. 

Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, allspice, cayenne and ginger and cook for a further 15 minutes uncovered.

Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni according to pack directions; drain. Stir into the meat sauce.


Transfer to a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the feta and pecorino. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook another 15 minutes. Enjoy!




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