I'm not sure what's gotten into me, but I am turning into one adventurous momma in the kitchen! To me, cinnamon and nutmeg just don't belong in a meaty pasta dish, and we usually don't love white sauces. But when Cody said he would eat this if I tried it, this recipe had to happen! Guess what! Everyone loved it!
Here's another great recipe courtesy of RR...of course, I had to tweak it a little bit, you'll see!
Greek Baked Ziti
- 1 pound ziti
- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 pound ground lamb (I used ground turkey...can't you hear the sweet baa-baa, don't be heartless)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
- 2 pinches ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon (about 1/3 palmful) allspice
- Ground black pepper
- 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk (I used low-fat milk and it worked great!)
- A few grates fresh nutmeg
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
- 2 pitas, toasted or 1 1/2 cups pita chips (I used gourmet pretzel chips...)
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Place a medium pot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the ground lamb to the pot and cook until golden brown, 5-6 minutes.
Add the onion, garlic, carrot, thyme, cinnamon and allspice to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are tender, 4-5 minutes.
While the sauce is working, place another medium pot over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, sprinkle in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk and nutmeg into the butter-flour mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese (about 2 handfuls, just eyeball it) into the sauce.