"Ground beef, feta cheese, and tomatoes are blended with macaroni, then baked in a rich white sauce. This is a wonderful change from traditional Italian lasagna." — SHAWNEE1492
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uncooked elbow macaroni
grated Parmesan cheese
1 (4 ounce) package
2 (8 ounce) cans
salt and pepper to taste
This is called "pastisio" in Greek, and the only recommendation I can add is to double the cinnamon and perhaps use Romano instead of parmesan (stronger flavour). Greek comfort food, my mom's is my favourite food in the world!
I was hoping that this would be a simpler version of the real Greek lasagna, pastitso, but it wasn't. As it is, it's rather a bland mess. I had to alter it substantially to get something we were happy eating. First up, you need a flavourful sauce as a sturdy base for the pasta. After browning the meat and onions, add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and extra seasonings of oregano, garlic, and parsley (a splash of red wine is not only traditional but delicious), and allow to simmer until slightly reduced and flavourful. Only then should you add the pasta and cheeses. The white sauce is also very weak: thin-looking and thin-tasting. It needs to be made with all purpose flour, and it also needs seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I give my own variation five stars, but the original is only two. Sorry!
I followed the suggestions of other reviews and halved the amount of pasta, doubled the feta cheese, and cooked it in layers. Thank you, everyone! It turned out great. I used flavored feta cheese and added spices typical of other Greek recipes I have (since I couldn't find a Greek spice at the store), and it was very flavorful. I layered it pasta first, then the feta cheese, then beef, tomatoes, and finally Parmesan. I added a clove of garlic to the beef and onion during cooking. This is also where I added 2 t. chili powder, 2 t. ground cumin, and 1/4 t. ground red pepper along with the 2 t. cinnamon. I drained the tomatoes of their juice and added 3 T. of lime juice to them. My whole family loved it, and I will most definitely make it again...soon.
I found this recipe to have a very pleasant taste, but is probably not something I would make again. It's better the second day, I think. Essentially, this dish takes four pans -- one to cook the meat, one to boil the pasta, one to prepare the white sauce, and one to bake. It's not as quick and easy as it sounds. If you already have cooked ground beef in your freezer or some cooked pasta ready, I'd probably recommend this recipe. It's filling and pairs nicely with salad. It's just a little bland. I did use only half of the pasta, I added some grated cheese to the top. I do wish I had layered it, as the noodles on the top got unpleasantly crispy. If you have to make the whole thing from scratch, I don't think it's quite worth the effort.
It is a 5 with changes. I had two 5 oz. packages of feta (one was lowfat with Mediterranean seasoning) and ground beef. I looked for a recipe and this is the one that struck me. I loved the idea. I used 1 lb. of cooked penne, 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, a 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, a 26 1/2 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1 large clove of garlic sauteed with the onion, salt, and pepper but no parmesan, no cinnamon. I added one package of feta to the sauce. I combined the beef sauce and pasta in the casserole. For the white sauce I used the same amount of butter, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of flour and 4 cups of milk seasoned with salt and peper. I put 1/2 container of lowfat feta in this sauce and poured it over the pasta mixture. I sprinkled the rest of the feta on the top. I baked it for 25 minutes. My husband rated it a five.
This is an amazing recipe!!! Everyone loved it!
Waaaay to much macaroni in this recipe. It might be good, if the proportions were right.
This recipe should come with a disclaimer just under the title: "Beware---this dish is bland and too much trouble for what you end-up with!" I didn't read the reviews before I prepared it because it sounded so good, but boy, was I disappointed when I prepared it for guests-----it was just a huge bland mass of baked pasta noodles (way too many!) with a little bit of ground beef and cinnamon flavoring. You couldn't even tell it had tomatoes or "white sauce" in it! The pasta amount should be cut-down to one or one and a half pounds, instead of the two pounds it calls for. Better yet, just make traditional Italian lasagna----it's a much bigger hit with company! Scrap this recipe!!!!!
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/12 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 205
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