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Paul’s Pastitsio

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 stick celery, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1kg minced beef

1 tsp ground allspice

A pinch of ground cinnamon

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cups Paul Newman’s Own Bolognese sauce

500g penne pasta

For the béchamel sauce

100g butter

1/2 cup plain flour

4 cups whole milk, warm

4 eggs, separated

A pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups grated kefalograviera or pecorino cheese, grated

40g of melted butter for the pasta

Method

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium high. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook for five minutes or until soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute, now add the beef and cook for a few minutes to brown and break up the meat. Add the Paul Newman’s Own Bolognese sauce, spices and herbs. Bring mixture to the boil then reduce heat and cook for one hour on low.

Let the meat sauce cool a little while you make the béchamel sauce.

Béchamel Sauce

Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add the flour, and cook, stirring often until you have a dry, sandy consistency. Now add a little warm milk and whisk to combine until you have a think paste.  Keep adding the milk, a little at a time, whisking consistently. Once all the milk has been added, cook and whisk for a further five minutes until you have a smooth, thick consistency. Remove from heat, add the nutmeg, yolks and half a cup of the cheese and stir again.

Preheat the oven to 180C and cook the pasta per packet instructions. Drain and then place the colander under hot running water to refresh, tip back into the saucepan and add the melted butter, another half cup of cheese and four reserved egg whites, stir well for a good minute.

Transfer half of the pasta to a lasagne tray, top with the meat sauce then the rest of the pasta and then pour over the warm béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, season and bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Serve with a lovely big chopped salad dressed with Balsamic dressing.

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