Sunday, May 25, 2014


This is a recipe from Ina Garten and you can find it Here  I cut the recipe in 1/2 and didn't use the lamb.  I only used the ground beef. I will type the recipe as I made it, not as Ina recommended.  It was worth the effort.  I had decided that if it wasn't awesome, I would probably never make it again because it was pretty labor intensive.  You have to think ahead because it takes about 2 hours from start to finish.

Printable Version
Ingredients for the Tomato Meat Sauce:
1.5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion (1/2 large)
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup red wine
1 clove garlic (1 extra large or 2 small) minced
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 can (14 oz.) crushed tomatoes in puree
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Ingredients for Bechamel Sauce:
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 extra-large egg, beaten
1/3 cup Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage Total
3/8 pound small shells
For the meat sauce, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until it is no longer pink. Crumble it with the back of a wooden spoon. Drain off any excess liquid, add the wine, and cook for additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add the cinnamon, oregano, fresh thyme leaves, and cayenne pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 30 - 40 minutes. Set aside

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the bechamel, heat the milk and cream together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until simmering. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Pour the warm milk and cream mixture into the butter and flour mixture, whisking constantly. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until smooth and thick. Add the nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in 3/8  cup Parmesan cheese,1/2 cup of the tomato and meat sauce, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.When cooled, stir in the eggs and yogurt and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water until  al dente. Don't over-cook because the pasta will later be baked. Drain and set aside.

Add the pasta to the meat and tomato sauce, and pour the mixture into a baking dish. Spread the bechamel evenly to cover the pasta and sprinkle with additional 3/8 cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly. Set aside for 10 minutes and serve hot.

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