Pastit­sio

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - FAMILY MEALS -

SERVES 4-6 PREP AND COOK TIME 1 HOUR 10 MIN­UTES

375g mac­a­roni pasta 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 2 medium (300g) onions, chopped 1 large (500g) egg­plant, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes 2 cloves gar­lic, chopped 500g lamb mince 1 tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon ½ tea­spoon ground nut­meg ¼ cup (70g) to­mato paste ½ cup (125ml) red wine 400g can diced or crushed toma­toes 2 tea­spoons sugar 60g but­ter, chopped ¼ cup (35g) plain flour 3 cups (750ml) milk 2 eggs, beaten lightly ½ cup (40g) freshly grated parme­san 1 Cook mac­a­roni in a large pan of boil­ing well-salted wa­ter un­til just ten­der; drain. 2 Mean­while, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook the onion, egg­plant and gar­lic for 10 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til soft and fra­grant. 3 In­crease the tem­per­a­ture to high. Add the mince; cook, stir­ring, un­til browned, break­ing up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the cin­na­mon and nut­meg; cook, stir­ring, for 1 minute.

Stir in the to­mato paste; cook for a fur­ther 1 minute. Add the wine; bring to the boil. Stir in toma­toes and sugar. Sim­mer for 10-15 min­utes or un­til the liq­uid has re­duced. The mix­ture should be quite dry and very rich and fra­grant. Sea­son to taste. 4 To make the béchamel sauce, in a large saucepan melt the but­ter over a medium heat; stir in the flour. Stir for 1 minute or un­til frothy. Grad­u­ally stir in the milk; cook, stir­ring, un­til sauce boils and thick­ens. Sea­son to taste. Re­move from the heat; stir in the eggs. 5 To assem­ble, place the mac­a­roni over the base of a 20cm x 30cm oven­proof dish. Spread the lamb mix­ture over the top, then the béchamel sauce. Sprin­kle the top with parme­san. 6 Bake pastit­sio for 30 min­utes or un­til the top is golden and bub­bling. Serve with salad, if de­sired. Suit­able to freeze. Not suit­able to mi­crowave.

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