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Pastitsio Pasta Bake

Pastitsio Pasta Bake

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Looking for a simple way to change up pasta night? Try this pasta bake made with a rich béchamel sauce.

Recipe

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PASTITSIO BAKE

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 2 pounds ground turkey

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with juices

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Bechamel:

  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain.

  3. For the meat sauce:

  4. Add butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted and foaming, add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper.

  5. Add the meat and break up with the back of a wooden spoon while stirring. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and toast for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, then the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, until thickened.

  6. For the bechamel:

  7. Add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted and foaming, sprinkle in flour and stir with a wooden spoon until pasty. Whisk in milk slowly. Season with salt, cayenne, nutmeg and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

  8. To assemble:

  9. Add the cooked pasta to the meat sauce and stir to mix. Add to the prepared casserole dish. Spoon on a layer of bechamel and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

  10. Bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes before slicing.

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