Tag Archives: diced tomatoes

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

15 Apr
Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

I saw this recipe on Food52 a few days ago, the daughter was gone for the night (she doesn’t like shrimp, crazy huh?) and it was a quick and easy recipe — especially since I had a bag of homemade shrimp stock in the freezer. No-brainer for me. Thirty minutes TOPS to make this if you have the stock. There are lots of great flavors going on in this. If you don’t have shrimp stock on hand, the original recipe here has the method to make it, which doesn’t take that long. Don’t forget the crusty bread to sop up the soup!

I was hoping to post my “big announcement” this weekend, but I’m still dealing with the logistics. Hopefully next week!

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup
Adapted from Shrimp and Chorizo Stew, by Josh Cohen at Food52

4 ounces Mexican chorizo sausage
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (fresh is better if you have it)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups shrimp stock
1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt, to taste
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
Crusty toasted buttered bread, for serving

Chorizo and Shallots

Chorizo and Shallots

Remove the chorizo from its casing and cook in the oil over medium-high heat in a deep skillet, until cooked through and a bit caramelized. Add the minced shallots and cook until translucent, then add the diced tomatoes and smoked paprika. Cook and stir gently until tomatoes just start to break down.

Tomatoes and Smoked Paprika Added

Tomatoes and Smoked Paprika Added

Add the white wine and shrimp stock, then turn to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until just simmering, then add the shrimp.

Simmering Shrimp

Simmering Shrimp

At this point you can start toasting your bread.  When the shrimp are cooked through (about 5 to 7 minutes), turn off heat, taste for salt, and add if necessary. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh thyme leaves, and serve with hot buttered crusty bread.

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

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Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup (Albondigas de Camerones)

8 Jan
Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

The snow will just not stop where I live! We are buried, I tell ya’! So of course I made more soup (spicy too!) to ward off the snow demons and hopefully melt them.

I made this earlier in the year from a recipe at Cooking on the Ranch, but the hubs said there was too much seasoning in the shrimp meatballs and he couldn’t taste the shrimp. So I made a notation on the recipe to make it again but with noted adjustments. I did, and the meatballs came out so much better this time! We really enjoyed it so I hope you do too!

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup
Adapted from Cooking on the Ranch

For the meatballs:

1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (weight after peeling)
1 thick slice onion, quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
A pinch of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 heaping tablespoons flour
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt

For the soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 roasted Hatch chiles, peeled, seeded and chopped (can sub 1 4-ounce can mild green chopped chiles)
3 to 4 cups shrimp, fish, or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

Shrimp Meatball Mixture

Shrimp Meatball Mixture

Add the shrimp, onion, tomato paste, spices and herbs, flour, egg yolk and salt to a food processor. Pulse until well combined. Cover and chill in refrigerator for a half hour.

Meanwhile, start making the soup. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven and saute the onion until translucent and soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes and chiles and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Simmering the Soup Base

Simmering the Soup Base

Add the stock, bay leaves, and pepper and salt, to taste. Bring up to a simmer again, then simmer on low heat while you make the meatballs.

Get a bowl of water ready and add parchment paper to a large cookie sheet. Dip your hands in the bowl of water, and using a spoon, scoop out a large teaspoon of the shrimp mixture, and roll into a ball and place on the cookie sheet.

Shrimp Meatballs

Shrimp Meatballs

Dip hands in water as needed, it prevents the shrimp mixture from sticking to your hands. Repeat until shrimp is gone. Drop the meatballs carefully into the soup, then bring to a simmer again heat the meatballs until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Simmering the Shrimp Meatballs

Simmering the Shrimp Meatballs

Remove bay leaves, and serve soup in bowls garnished with chopped cilantro.

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

Mexican Shrimp Meatball Soup

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Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

10 Dec
Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

This soup has keeper written all over it! (Plus my hubby told me so.) I made this soup a couple of weeks ago, and the only photo I took while making it was from my iPhone, so sorry for the lack of prep photos. But who needs them when this is so quick and easy to make? You can easily have this on the table in less than 30 minutes. This soup is full of flavor, and hearty and filling enough to satisfy even the hungriest of eaters.

Smoked Sausage and Tortellini Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package smoked sausage, cut into slices
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
4 cups turkey or chicken stock
1 9-ounce package fresh cheese tortellini
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the smoked sausage and onion until sausages have slightly browned and onions are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic in the last minute.

Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, turkey or chicken stock, tortellini, and pepper and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, then stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Serve with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

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One-Pot Lasagna Soup

29 Oct
One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

This is a soup I’ve wanted to make for ages, and FINALLY got inspired to just do it. Soup? Check. Easy? Check. One pot? Check. One hand? Check, dammit. I get my traction device off in less than two weeks, woohooo! But in this seemingly long entrapment from my injury, I have found that one can be quite resourceful while dealing with a disability. Did you know you can break dried lasagna noodles into even pieces one-handed? Simply place the noodle in a glass bowl then push the edge of the noodle hanging out over the lip of the bowl. Snap! Keep moving it up and snapping off the end. See? Easy-peasy! (Newcomers to this site can read about my injury here.)

My recipe here came from several internet-inspired sources. As always, feel free to adapt, as that is pretty much all I’ve been doing lately. Without further ado…

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 24-ounce jar good-quality meatless spaghetti sauce
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
10 uncooked dried lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
Fresh Mozzarella slices
Ricotta cheese scoops
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until meats are browned and onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute more. Drain grease, if necessary.

Add 4 cups of the beef broth and the rest of the ingredients except the cheeses, stirring to separate the noodles. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour until noodles are soft and soup has thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add the remaining two cups of broth, as needed during that time, until soup is desired consistency.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Discard bay leaf and add Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses to the pot, then let sit without stirring until starting to melt. Ladle scoops of soup and melty cheese into bowls and garnish with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.  This is good. Really good. We are talking seconds and thirds good. Trust me.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

 

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Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

9 Jan
Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Some dishes are just not photogenic. I made this dish last week and the family just gobbled it up and it got raves all the way around. So when I went to take a final “plating shot” I scattered some cilantro over the top of it and thought, “you know, this is just like putting lipstick on a pig.” HA! But mind you, this slow cooker dish is just the ticket for a bowl full of creamy, cheesy, chicken-noodley goodness. You will be licking that bowl clean! (And even better, this recipe is completely versatile!)

WARNING: Unpleasant food photos ahead. Really, there is nothing very appetizing to look at while making this dish. But the taste…! And yes, I am making fun of my photography, because sometimes it just works out that way. 😉

Lipstick on a Pig Texas Chicken Spaghetti

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast (mine was 12 ounces, and frozen!)
Salt or Mrs. Dash and ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned or otherwise, with liquid)
1 roasted Hatch chile, peeled, seeded, and diced (or sub with 2 tablespoons of canned diced green chiles)
2 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or sub low-sodium store-bought broth)
4 ounces spaghetti noodles, uncooked
2 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups grated cheese, any kind (I used half Gruyere and half sharp cheddar)
1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder (or regular)
1 teaspoon lime juice
Cilantro, for garnish (the lipstick on the pig!)

Season the chicken breast with salt or Mrs. Dash and pepper, to taste, then add to the crockpot. I actually added mine in frozen, no need to defrost — really!

Peeled and Seeded Roasted Hatch Chile Pepper

Peeled and Seeded Roasted Hatch Chile Pepper ~ Hmmm, how exciting.

Chop up the onion and peel and dice that roasted pepper. Wait, you don’t have a roasted Hatch chile pepper sitting around? Canned is fine.

Veggies and Chicken

Veggies and Chicken ~ Can’t see the raw chicken? You don’t want to. Trust me.

Toss in the onions, tomatoes, chiles and chicken stock/broth. (And I used turkey stock, see how I am?) Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Remove chicken breast and cover with foil until cool enough to handle. Shred the chicken with a fork and add back to the crockpot.

Shredding the Chicken

Shredding the Chicken ~ Hey, let’s take a really close up shot of the shredded chicken so you can even see the tomato bits stuck to it!

Grate your cheeses. No, don’t grate the cream cheese.

Grated Cheeses

Grated Cheeses ~ Finally, something tolerable to view. But it’s just cheese.

Break the uncooked noodles in half and add to the pot along with with the cheeses, chile powder and lime juice.

Adding the Dried Spaghetti

Adding the Dried Spaghetti ~ Really Kathryn? That’s just ick.

Stir around as best you can, then cover and cook for another half hour to an hour until the noodles are done. Give it one final stir to incorporate well, then serve in bowls garnished with lipstick, um, cilantro. 😀

Texas Chicken Spaghetti

Texas Chicken Spaghetti ~ Because putting a really old crockpot in the background with half-spent cilantro makes it look better, right?

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Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

14 Nov
Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

I probably sound like a broken record, but I LOVE SOUP SEASON! A few weeks ago I grabbed the rest of the beef marrow bones out of the freezer and decided to make a huge pot of beef bone soup stock. We have a new quarter side of beef on the way for our freezer and it was way past due to finish using those up.

Beef Bone Stock

Beef Bone Stock

After that task was accomplished, of course I had to make some soup out of that rich, golden broth. Our grass-fed ground beef from last year was long gone, but my hubby bought a fancy electric meat grinder and he ground up a bunch of chuck and made 3/4-pound bags for the freezer. That amount makes so much more sense for our family than a pound since there are only three of us.

Also out of the freezer came some frozen tomatoes from our harvest. All I had to do was run hot water over them and the skins slipped right off!

Armed with these ingredients, I set off to make some soup. I cobbled together more ingredients out of the pantry and fridge (including some almost expired fresh spinach) and this is what I came up with:

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup Ingredients

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups crushed tomatoes with liquid (or a 14.5-ounce can)
4 cups low-sodium beef broth, preferably homemade
1 cup dry green lentils
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Large handful fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Ground Beef and Veggies

Ground Beef and Veggies

Add the ground beef, onion, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. In this case I used my pressure cooker pot. (Stay tuned, confession time coming!) Cook over medium heat and stir until meat is brown and vegetables are starting to soften. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Next add the tomatoes (I crushed them with my hands when adding them) plus the liquid, the beef broth, lentils, oregano, and sugar. (The small amount of sugar offsets the acidity in the tomatoes.) Stir to combine.

Soup Ingredients Ready to Finish Cooking

Soup Ingredients Ready to Finish Cooking

CONFESSION TIME: At this point, I honestly do not remember if I actually pressure cooked this or just finished simmering uncovered. Really! I know I used my pressure cooker pot from the photos. Did I use it because I intended on pressure cooking the lentils, or did I use it because all my other large pots were used up from making the beef stock earlier in the day? This was only a few weekends ago! Please don’t laugh at me, laugh WITH me!

Nonetheless, either pressure-cook this for 20 minutes, or simmer it uncovered for about an hour. After the lentils are soft, add in the chopped spinach and stir until wilted.

Chopped Spinach Added

Chopped Spinach Added

Taste test, then add sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. I thought the soup needed just a tad more flavor boost, so added a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Perfect. Soup’s on! Serve with crusty bread.

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

Ground Beef and Green Lentil Soup

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Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Sausage Casserole

26 Apr
Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Sausage Casserole

Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Sausage Casserole

I “borrowed” this recipe from my foodie blogging friend Seana over at Cottage Grove House. Her recipes have never failed me, and this one didn’t either. The flavors in this are bright and flavorful! If we hadn’t left town for a couple of days this would have been completely consumed. The original recipe called for almond meal and nutritional yeast, but since I couldn’t find either of those I subbed in with ground roasted almonds and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Side note: This made a LOT of food for my small family so I plan on halving it next time. Part of that was my fault for using a pound of chicken sausage instead of 1/2 pound — DOH! But the family liked it and that’s what counts, right? 😀

All Natural Chicken Sausage

All Natural Chicken Sausage

Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Sausage Casserole
Adapted from Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Sausage Casserole at Cottage Grove House

1 medium head of cauliflower (roughly 2 pounds) cut into bite size florets
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound organic chicken sausages, removed from casings (1/2 pound would be plenty, too)
1 cup diced onion
1/8 teaspoon dried, crushed thyme
1 28-ounce can Italian-style diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano and basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted almonds, ground in a food processor
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 375°F.  In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the minced garlic and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet and roast for approximately 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking time. When the cauliflower is lightly browned, remove from the oven and set aside.

Browning the Chicken Sausage and Onions

Browning the Chicken Sausage and Onions

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken sausage, breaking it up as you add it. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes until it is cooked through and browned thoroughly. Lower the heat to medium low and add the onions, and thyme. Sauté the mixture for about 5 to 7 minutes until the onions have started to soften.

Tomatoes Added to Chicken Sausage Mixture

Tomatoes Added to Chicken Sausage Mixture

Add the Italian diced tomatoes to the skillet, with its liquid. Stir thoroughly and cook for 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Last, stir in the cauliflower until all pieces are coated with the tomato liquid.

Cauliflower Added to Mixture

Cauliflower Added to Mixture

Spray a 3-quart casserole with olive oil and pour the cauliflower and sausage mixture into the dish. In a small bowl combine the ground almonds and Parmesan cheese and distribute evenly over the casserole. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Casserole Ready for Almond Cheese Topping

Casserole Ready for Almond Cheese Topping

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Keema ~ A Taste of India

11 Apr
Keema  ~ A Taste of India

Keema ~ A Taste of India

About six years ago my employer decided that hosting an Indian Cuisine potluck would be a good idea for some newly hired employees from India who were training at our local office for an extended period of time. At that time, I had zero experience with Indian cuisine, so had asked one of the new hires for a recipe I could make for them. The next day I was handed a photocopy from an unknown cookbook. It was titled simply “Keema.” I made it for the potluck and remember it was a hit! But then it remained forgotten in my loose-leaf recipe archive (read “mess”) until last week.

I had obviously adapted it the first time around, as it had scratch outs, scribbles, and additions and substitutions written all over it. This time around, I decided to search it out on the internet. There are so many variations of Keema that I felt I had good liberty to basically “redo” it again to my family’s tastes as they are today. My new remake got two thumbs up from the family! My only regret was not buying some cottage cheese to serve on the side, as it makes a refreshing accompaniment to the meal. Since this made way too much for one meal, I went straight to the store the next day and bought cottage cheese for the leftovers. No leftovers were thrown out, I am glad to say!

This is traditionally made with ground lamb, but I used ground beef as a substitute, but you could use either one or a combination of the two. Make sure you use at least a 12-inch skillet, as this makes a LOT! Feel free to halve the recipe.

Keema

1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground beef or lamb
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons garam masala (I used dried Mild Curry #512, according to the bulk bin I bought it from)
1 teaspoon salt or Mrs. Dash table blend
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste
1 1/2 cups homemade or low sodium beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen peas
Lime wedges, for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving
Cottage cheese, for serving

Ground Beef and Onions

Ground Beef and Onions

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef or lamb with the chopped onion until evenly browned. Drain off any grease. Stir in the garlic and cook for about a minute more, then add the spices and combine.

Spices Added to Ground Beef Mixture

Spices Added to Ground Beef Mixture

Add the the rest of the ingredients except the frozen peas and garnishes. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. In the last five minutes, add the frozen peas and cook until heated through.

Keema Ready to Serve

Keema Ready to Serve

Serve over a bed of rice, with a squeeze of lime, and cilantro. Please add cottage cheese to the side as a lovely, refreshing side.

Keema

Keema

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Chicken Enchilada Skillet

7 Mar
Chicken Enchilada Skillet

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

I’ve been keen on making one-pot meals these days. I had a hankering for enchiladas, but I sure mess up a lot of dishes in that process. I’ve done the enchilada casserole before, which does use a few less dishes, but that is still too many when you just want to throw everything into ONE dish and cook it. Yes, a slow cooker works like that, but it was 6 pm and no time for that. A few interwebz searches yielded the brainchild for the following recipe. I’ve decided to call it Chicken Enchilada Skillet, because that is exactly what it is. And you could make it with ground burger, steak, or pork too! A cheesy, filling dish that tastes like enchiladas, but made in only a skillet! Win-win.

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (white or dark)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup uncooked rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 10-ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles (off-brands are now available)
1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce (freeze the rest if larger)
1 cup frozen corn
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed.
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2.25 ounce can sliced black olives
Cilantro, diced green onions, for garnish
Sour cream and warmed tortillas, for serving

Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces, then season with the pepper, cumin, and chile powder.

Seasoned Chicken and Onions

Seasoned Chicken and Onions

Add the oil to a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, and cook the chicken and onion until browned, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Browning the Chicken and Onions

Browning the Chicken and Onions

Add the rice to the skillet and cook about 3 to 4 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sauteeing the Rice with Chicken

Sauteing the Rice with Chicken

Next add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes with green chiles, enchilada sauce, and corn. Heat up to a low boil, then turn down to a simmer.

Simmering the Enchilada Misture

Simmering the Enchilada Mixture

Cover the skillet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and absorbed most of the liquid.

Enchilada Skillet Ready for Garnishes

Enchilada Skillet Ready for Garnishes

Remove from the heat, then add the black beans. Top with the grated cheese and black olives. Put under a broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish with the green onions and cilantro, and serve with sour cream and tortillas.

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

Chicken Enchilada Skillet

You can add the mixture to a tortilla and roll into a burrito, or just use it to dip into the enchilada skillet surprise!

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Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

28 Feb
Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pistachios, am I nuts? No, this is Pastitsio, also known as Pasticcio, and sometimes spelled Pasticchio. But my tattered Better Homes and Garden cookbook names this Greek dish it the latter. No matter how you spell it, it’s dang good! It also messes up a lot of pots and pans. But don’t let that stop you from making this guest-worthy casserole.

You can shorten the cooking time by preparing some of the steps concurrently, or, if you have a lazy weekend day with lots of time you can just methodically work your way through each step. The end result will be the same. Bites of savory tomato and ground beef pasta topped with a lusciously puffy bechamel/egg crust. Are you drooling yet???

I had not made this in probably 5 or 6 years, so I just followed the recipe again as written (mostly) in the cookbook. Traditionally, this dish is made with a tubular pasta but I think the smaller macaroni works well with this. My family agreed it could use a few tweaks, but even so we all enjoyed this immensely. I’ve added my tweaks to the recipe below, and I think you’d be satisfied with them. So here it goes:

Pasticchio
From Better Homes and Gardens All-Time Favorite Recipes

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) dry elbow macaroni
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff!)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce (I would also add a can of diced tomatoes next time)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used Mrs. Dash, but we agreed real salt would be better)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I actually used 1/4 teaspoon, and it was the right amount)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (I ground in liberal amounts)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Paprika, to make it pretty

Pasta Mixture

Pasta Mixture

Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain, and set aside to cool for a bit. When cooled enough not to cook the egg you will be adding, stir in 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of milk, and the beaten egg. Set aside.

Beef and Tomato Sauce Mixture

Beef and Tomato Sauce Mixture

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and chopped onion until the meat is cooked and the onion is tender. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the tomato sauce (and can of diced tomatoes, if using), and the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper. Set aside.

Bechamel Cream Sauce

Bechamel Cream Sauce

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and a little bit of salt to form a paste. Pour in the 1 1/2 cups of milk all at once, whisking continuously. Cook and stir until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Add the other beaten egg to a bowl, then pour half the sauce into the bowl with the egg and combine. Then pour that mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of it. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese until combined.

Final Prepping of the Casserole

Final Prepping of the Casserole

Layer half the macaroni mixture to a lightly oil-sprayed 2-quart casserole dish. Spread the meat mixture evenly on top of the pasta, then the remaining macaroni. Spread the cream sauce over all. (Optionally sprinkle ground paprika over it, to make it pretty.) Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a side salad or vegetable. Guest-worthy, indeed!

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

Pastitsio, Pasticcio, Pasticchio

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