Pastitsio goes light

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 teaspoon Vegetable oil
2 \N Garlic cloves; minced
1 \N Onion; chopped
2 \N Carrots; finely diced
1 \N Zucchini; finely chopped
¾ pounds Lean ground beef
1½ teaspoon Dried basil
1 teaspoon Dried oregano
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
½ teaspoon Dried thyme
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
19 ounces Canned tomatoes
¼ cup Fresh parsley; chopped
3 tablespoons Butter
¼ cup All-purpose flour
3 cups Milk
1 \N Egg
1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1 cup Mozzarella; part-skin,
\N \N Shredded
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
3 cups Pasta shells
¼ cup Parmesan; freshly grated


This is the Greek variation of lasagna.

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, onion, carrots and zucchini, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add beef, basil, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper and thyme; cook, stirring to break up beef, for about 3 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Pour in tomato paste and tomatoes, mashing tomatoes with fork; bring to boil.

Reduce heat; simmer for about 20 minutes or until almost all liquid is evaporated and sauce is thickened. Stir in parsley; set aside.

Pasta Custard Layers: In heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. gradually whisk in milk; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low or until thickened. In large bowl, whisk eggs; whisk in about ½ cup of the hot milk sauce. Return mixture to saucepan; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; blend in cottage cheese, mozzarella, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 8 minutes or until almost tender. Drain; return to pot. Add cheese sauce; toss well.

Spread half of the pasta mixture in greased 13x9-inch baking dish; spread meat mixture over top. Spread remaining pasta mixture evenly over meat.

Sprinkle with Parmesan.

[Can be prepared to this point, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.] Bake in 375F 190C oven for 1 hour or until heated through and top is lightly browned.

Let stand for 10 minutes.

Serve with a light green salad tossed with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette.

Source: Canadian Living magazine, Nov 95 Presented in article "Hearty and Healthy: Casseroles See The Light" Per serving: 557 Calories (kcal); 24g Total Fat; (39% calories from fat); 24g Protein; 60g Carbohydrate; 106mg Cholesterol; 714mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1½ Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 ½ Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates Converted by MM_Buster v2.0n.

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