GREEK PASTA BAKE
I was fortunate to have this recipe published in "Taste Of Home's Casserole Cookbook" in 2001. It's terrific comfort food on a cold night or ANY night. Leftovers aren't bad either! :-)

Just last month (April, 2010), I updated the recipe and tweaked a few ingredients---the result? The dish is even BETTER! I've also added some estimated nutrition facts for those who track them in their diets.
Serves: 6

1/2 pound estra lean ground beef (96/4)
1/2 pound lean ground lamb -- or additional beef
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic -- minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper *
1 can San Marzano tomatoes -- 28 oz. with juice
1 can tomato sauce -- 8 oz.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups cooked mixed pasta (elbows, ziti, penne--your choice) -- about 5 oz. dried
4 ounces crumbled Feta cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a Dutch oven, brown beef, and lamb if used, in olive oil until no longer pink, leaving meat a little chunky. Stir in onion, garlic, add oregano, salt, pepper, and Aleppo pepper; mix well. Add tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce and lemon juice; mix well; simmer over low heat 20 minutes. Stir in sugar and cinnamon; simmer 15 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta; top with cheese. Cover; bake 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes more. (Can be re-covered and kept warm at 200 degrees up to 1 hour.)

* NOTE: Aleppo pepper is a typical spicy pepper used mostly in Greek and turkish cooking. It can be obtained from Penseys.com

Estimated Nutrition Facts using all extra lean (96/4) ground beef:
Calories 510; Sugar 4 g; Total Carbohydrates 50 g; Fat 15.5 g; Sodium 1015 mg; Cholesterol 95 mg; Protein 39 g; Fiber 15 g; Potassiuim 700 mg

Copyright 20010 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved