Monday, September 26, 2011

Pronto Pastitsio

Pastitsio (pah-steet-see-oh) is a Greek casserole made with layers of pasta, meat sauce and a creamy white sauce.  Traditionally it's made with lamb because more sheep are raised in Greece then cattle.  However, it's just as good with beef.  Some day I'd like to try a from scratch version with lamb, but until I get around to doing that, this recipe will serve just fine.  This recipe is in Ava's Southern Living: Kids Cookbook and it's delicious and super simple.  I re-vamped it just a bit to make it a bit bigger since I get my hamburger in 1 1/2 pound packages instead of 1 pound packages.  If you want the recipe using just 1 pound, drop me a note and I'll get it to you.

Pronto Pastitsio

10-12 ounces whatever your choice of noodles, elbow mac, shell macaroni, penne
1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 26-ounce jar tomato and basil pasta sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 15-ounce jar Alfredo sauce
2 cups 5 or 6-cheese Italian blend shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook macaroni in one pot and brown hamburger with onion in a skillet.  Drain grease from beef and add pasta sauce and cinnamon and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.  Drain liquid from noodles and spoon half into a greased 11x7 inch baking dish.  Top with meat sauce then spoon rest of macaroni on top.  Pour Alfredo sauce evenly over top of noodles then sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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