Sunday, July 27, 2008


PasticcioI was randomly flipping through my recipe books, planning out my menu for the week and desperately looking for inspiration, when it hit me--pasticcio! I wanted pasticcio! Which sounds funny that something a little off the beaten path would hit my craving button so hard but it did and I made it and I was very happy.

This is a quick and easy recipe that I just LOVE. The spices simmering are so rich and teasing that I'm always tempting to just lick the stuff up right out of the pan if it didn't threaten to burn my tongue. If you've never tried this Greek casserole dish or if you've never put cinnamon on your meat before it may sound odd but trust me, I promise you'll be a convert.

As always I've tweaked the recipe in the book to suit our family so here's my version which makes enough for two meals (I like to cook in double batches and have leftovers the second day to save time and money):

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 cups ground lamb
1 small can of tomato paste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 14-ounce can of chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
13 ounces of whole wheat pasta such as macaroni or rotini
2 large tomatoes, sliced
2 8-ounce containers of plain yogurt
4 eggs, beaten

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until softened then add the ground lamb and cook until browned and broken up. Add the tomato paste and sprinkle the mixture with flour. Stir to coat then cook for one minute before adding the chicken broth. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon then bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook gently for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the pasta until tender and strain. Combine the yogurt and eggs in a separate bowl and mix well to combine before adding the strained pasta and stirring to coat the noodles with the yogurt/egg mix. Once the meat sauce is done spoon it into a large casserole dish and top with slices of tomato. Spoon the noodle/egg/yogurt mixture over the top of the tomatoes and bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

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Daisy said...

Wow, that's a lot of garlic!

Scribbit said...

It works out to be about 2 tablespoons of minced garlic--once it simmers it's not as strong as you might think.

The Dunns said...

Sounds yummy! I've never had it or even heard of it, but I do like unusual flavors and this one is enticing! I'm adding ground lamb and plain yogurt to my shopping list. So nice that everything else is already on hand!

dolphin lady said...

This is a new one to me! I will definitely have to try it! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Sounds yummy. I use lots of yogurt and lamb in Indian dishes that i make - it is a great combination.

Anonymous said...

Sounds yummy. I use lots of yogurt and lamb in Indian dishes that i make - it is a great combination.

Channah said...

Wow, this sounds amazing! Right now, I'm away at the in-laws, but when I get home, I'm going to have to try this. Thanks for the great recipe!

Unknown said...

My mom just came over and got some ground lamb out of my freezer saying, "I have to try that recipe Scribbit posted!" I didn't even know she read your blog! :)

Jen S. said...

That sounds delicious! I'll have to try it sometime. Thanks!

all over the map said...

I'm so hungry right now. I'm a fan of casseroles and warm comfort food. Especially when hungry.
I use cinnamon frequently when cooking with mince(ground meat)and I love every ingredient in this recipe - oh yum!
I think I'll try this one tomorrow.

PJ said...

I've eaten it in a restaurant...but never tried to cook it. I'll save the recipe. . . will be great as soon as the weather gets a bit cooler.

Maddy said...

Lamb! I'm shocked. I think you've just disqualified yourself from citizenship. Don't worry the Greeks'l still have yah!

p.s. did you know that if you type 'scribbit' into google search, rather that google blog search, you are right there!

Yah, you knew that.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Jeff used to get a dish like this every fall when we went to the Greek festival in RI. I've gotta make this for him. Thanks for the delicious idea, Michelle.

J said...

I've never tried this dish, never heard of it, but I'm going to have to print it up and try it soon! My husband LOVES lamb, and I LOVE pasta, so it's probably going to be a hit around here. :)

Dana+Martin said...

I just tried it, and it's great! I did put in only half the cinnamon since we are not too cinnamony people.

The ground-lamb mixture reminded me of the moussaka that my husband makes (really good too, though time consuming). The pasta-yogurt-egg mixture mellows it out quite a bit.I have to see whether our toddler likes it this evening.

Next time when I feel like experimenting, I might try to layer potatoes over the meat mixture instead of the pasta, sort of like potato gratin. And then make it again the original way again. Thanks for the recipe!