Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Moroccan Spiced Pastitsio with Lamb and Feta



This recipe is from the March 2011 Bon Appetit magazine. Ground lamb wasn't available during the grocery shopping trip, so I settled for ground pork. The ingedient ras-el-hanout can be found in specialty food stores or you can google and make your own mixture which is what I did. 

2 T olive oil
1 1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound ground lamb
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
2 T dried mint
1 1/2 T ras-el-hanout
1 T tomato paste
3 t. ground cumin, divided
1 t. ground cinnamon
3 cups whole milk, divided
8 T (1 stick) butter, divided
6 T all purpose flour
3 large eggs separated
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add lamb, cook until browned, breaking into small pieces, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, mint, ras-el-hanout, tomato paste, 2 1/2 t. cumin and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer until lamb mixture is thick, stirring often, 15 - 18 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat 2 cups milk to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm. Melt 6 T. butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour; whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium low; cook until roux is pale golden, whisking often, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually add warm milk to roux whisking until sauce is smooth. Whisk 1 cup milk with 3 egg yolks in medium bowl; whisk into sauce. Whisk in feta and 1/2 t. cumin. Bring sauce to a boil, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium low; simmer until slightly thickened, mashing with potato masher to break up cheese. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter deep 14 cup baking dish. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain pasta; return to same pot. Mix 2 T butter into pasta. Add egg whites and 1/4 cup Parmesan; stir to blend.

Spread half the pasta into dish. Spread lamb mixture over. Top with remaining pasta. Spoon sauce over; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Place dish on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until heated through, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes before serving.



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