How about a tasty plate of Pasticcio accompanied by a tossed salad and topped off with a glass of dry red wine?
This is one of our favorite dishes to prepare and eat. This recipe easily serves 4 and the leftovers are amazing out of the microwave or oven.
Red Wine – Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion sliced thin
1 red pepper cleaned and chopped
2 garlic gloves chopped
5 ½ cups ground chuck
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
½ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp. fresh parsley chopped or 1 tbsp. dried
2 tbsp. anchovy paste Reese is my preferred brand
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 cups dried fusilli
1 tbsp. olive oil plus extra for brushing
¼ cup heavy cream
2 ½ cups natural yogurt
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the red pepper and onion until soft, but do not let them brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for 45 seconds. Add the meat and cook, stirring often, until browned.
Mix in the tomatoes and wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the parsley, anchovy, and black pepper.
The sauce can be prepared early in the day, then held to the side until you’re ready to assemble the pasticcio. If the wait is longer than a few hours be sure to refrigerate the sauce to preserve it.
Bring a medium size saucepan to a hard boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes or until almost tender. Start timing when the water returns to a boil. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the cream.
Use a wooden spoon to beat the yogurt, eggs, and nutmeg together in a medium size mixing bowl.
Brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil. Spoon in half the pasta and cover it with half the meat sauce. Repeat with remaining pasta and sauce.
Spread on the topping and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.
To serve: Cut the pasticcio into medium size portions, but only enough for the present meal. Use a spatula to lay the slice onto a dinner plate.
I'll be back Monday with awesome middle grade author Sharon Ledwith. Until then...
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