Aegean Casserole

Course : Beef
Serves: 8
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---white sauce
4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 piece bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
6 cups eggplant -- finely diced
2 teaspoons salt -- divided
1 tablespoon olive oil -- plus 1 teaspoon
1 cup onions -- finely chopped
2 teaspoons garlic -- minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 dash ground red pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
28 ounces whole tomatoes -- canned
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley -- chopped
16 ounces ziti -- cooked

Preparation / Directions:

1. Make White Sauce: Bring milk to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Melt butter in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, bay leaf and salt; bring to boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf and stir in Parmesan. 2. Toss eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt; drain in colander 30 minutes. Pat dry. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. 3. Heat oven to 375øF. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to skillet. Add onions and cook until tender, 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cinnamon and red pepper; cook 15 seconds. Add meat, mint, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper; cook, stirring, until meat is no longer pink. Add tomato paste and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with spoon. Add eggplant and bring to simmer; simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. 4. Transfer cooked ziti to large bowl and stir in 1 cup White Sauce. Spread half the ziti in bottom of deep 5-quart casserole. Spoon on filling, then remaining ziti and White Sauce. Bake uncovered 25 to 35 minutes, until bubbly and browned. Makes 8 servings. Prep time: 1 hour Baking time: 25 to 35 minutes


Nutritional Information:

380 Calories (kcal); 24g Total Fat; (55% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 75mg Cholesterol; 1034mg Sodium

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