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posted: 7/8/2014 5:45 AM

Pastitsio

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Meat

1 tablespoon butter

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1 onion, chopped

3 pounds ground lamb or beef

¾ cups water

1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

1½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

Macaroni

1 pound uncooked macaroni

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

½ cup melted butter

Sauce

4 eggs, well-beaten

¾ cup half and half

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

Ground nutmeg to taste

For the meat: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in onion cook until softened. Stir in ground meat, cook until browned and crumbly.

Pour in water and tomato paste, season with salt and spices; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool, stirin eggs and set aside.

Heat oven to 400.

For the pasta: Boil macaroni to slightly al dente, drain and return to pan. Allow to cool before stirring in beaten eggs.

Evenly spread half the noodles into an 11-by-14-inch baking pan; sprinkle with ½ cup parmesan cheese and drizzle with a ½ cup melted butter. Spread the meat mixture on top and then finish with the noodles, cheese and remaining butter.

For the sauce: Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, parmesan cheese, flour and salt. Pour this mixture on top of the pastitsio, sprinkle with nutmeg. Cover pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes -- until top is browned. Let stand before serving.

Serves 15.

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