My grandfather always made pastichio on special occasions or when we had guests coming for dinner. I cherish the happy memories I have of him teaching me how to cook one of his signature dishes. —Tina Waisman, Safety Harbor, Florida
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup white wine or beef broth
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound ziti or other small tube pasta
- 1-1/3 cups grated Romano cheese
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup butter, melted, divided
- 20 sheets phyllo dough (14x9 inches)
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, breaking up beef into crumbles; drain.
- Stir in tomato sauce, wine, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Discard cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
- Meanwhile, cook ziti according to package directions for al dente. Drain and return to pan. Stir in cheese, eggs and 1/4 cup butter.
- Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface; brush with butter. Layer with nine additional phyllo sheets, brushing each layer. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.) Cut phyllo stack crosswise in half; place one stack in each of two greased 8-in.-square baking dishes.
- In each dish, layer 2 cups pasta mixture and 1 cup sauce. Repeat layers. Prepare a second stack of 10 phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter; cut in half and place one stack over each dish.
Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
Freeze option: Cool unbaked casseroles; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake casseroles as directed, increasing time to 60-70 minutes or until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).
Originally published as Phyllo-Layered Pastichio in Country Woman August/September 2013, p35
Full-Bodied White Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.
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