Greek Baked Ziti
This is a lighter version of a classic Italian dish.
Houston hosts annually The Original Greek Festival
and one of the dishes they make and we love is the Greek lasagna.
I’m happy this recipe makes the Ziti taste exactly like that.
I don’t know if that’s what makes it Greek, but the addition of cinnamon completely alters its taste profile. The meat cooked in tomato sauce helps with that too.
The recipe calls for lamb, a meat I’m not a huge fan off, but I have to say the lamb taste does not come strong, if at all, in this dish.
The picture below doesn’t do the dish justice; I however wanted to show the layering of the pasta - the red sauce with meat and pasta at the bottom and the white-sauce pasta up on top.
Definitely a remake.
Hand-on Time: 51 min; Total time: 1 hr. 55 min.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups chopped onion
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 pound lean ground lamb
- 1/2 pound ground sirloin
- 3 (14.5-ounce) cans unsalted diced tomatoes, un-drained
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 10 ounces uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
- Cooking spray
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- Fresh oregano leaves (optional)
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.
Add lamb and beef, cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.
Add tomatoes, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cinnamon; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing with a spatula or flat side of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat; set aside.
- While sauce cooks, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add flour, stirring with a whisk. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add 1/2 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
Gradually add remaining 2 1/2 cups milk and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring until smooth.
Bring to boil over medium-high heat, and cook 1 minute or until slightly thick.
Remove from heat.
Gradually add hot milk to eggs, stirring constantly with a whisk.
Stir in 1/2 cup cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cook pasta in boiling water 9 minutes or until al dente,
omitting salt and fat.
Stir 3 cups pasta into tomato sauce; stir remaining 3 cups pasta into white sauce.
- Spoon tomato-sauced pasta into a 13 x 9—inch glass or ceramic baking dish
coated with cooking spray.
Top with white-sauced pasta, spreading evenly.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Let stand 5 minutes; sprinkle with oregano leaves, if desired.
Serves 10 (serving size: 1/10 of casserole)
Supposed nutritional information:
- Calories 383;
- Fat 16.8g (sat 7.9g, mono 6.2g, poly 1.2g);
- Protein 19.8g;
- Carbs 38g;
- Fiber 3.7g;
- Cholesterol 108mg
- Iron 20mg, Sodium 532mg, Calcium 199mg