Morroccan-Spiced Pastitsio with Feta

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit’s Moroccan-Spiced Pastitsio with Lamb and Feta in the March 2011 edition. It make 10 servings.

Morroccan-Spiced Pastitsio with Feta


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

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

Meanwhile, bring 2 cups milk to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in heavy large 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 and 3 egg yolks in medium bowl; whisk into sauce. Whisk in feta and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Bring sauce to boil, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until slightly thickened, mashing with potato masher to break up cheese, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400°F. 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 tablespoons butter into pasta. Add egg whites and 1/4 cup Parmesan; stir to blend.

Spread 4 cups pasta in 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 pastitsio until heated through, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

Per serving – Calories: 546.8, Total Fat: 28.1g, Sat. Fat: 13.9g, Carbs: 48.1g, Fiber: 2.9g, Protein: 24.7g

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