Vegetarian Pastitsio (Greek casserole) Recipe

  • 1 uncooked ziti pasta (penne or mostaccioli) (3 cup 12 ounce )
  • 2 1/2 cups cubed (1/2") peeled eggplant
  • 1 onion, chopped (medium)
  • 1 can chunky tomato sauce w/onions, celery & green pepper, undrained (15 ounce can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons plain bread crumbs (Progresso type)
  • 2 teaspoons butter or margarine, melted
Heat oven to 350F. Spray 12 x 8 (2 qt.) baking dish and 14 x 12 sheet of foil with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In large pot (Dutch-oven) cook ziti to al dente' doneness, as directed on pkg. Drain; return to pot. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile in med. saucepan, combine eggplant, onion, tomato sauce, cinnamon and oregano; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 to 15 min. or until onion and eggplant are crisp-tender, stirring frequently.

In another med. saucepan combine 1/2 C milk, flour, salt and pepper; mix with whisk until smooth. Gradually stir in remaining 1 1/2 C. milk. Cook over med. heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

In med. bowl, beat eggs; gradually add half of the hot milk mixture to beaten eggs, stirring constantly to prevent curdling. Then pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Add cheese; mix well. Add to cooked/drained ziti; toss gently to coat evenly.

Place half of ziti mixture in prepared baking dish; spoon tomato sauce mixture over this; then top with remaining Ziti mixture. Cover tightly with sprayed foil.

Bake at 350F. for 35 to 45 min. or until casserole is bubbly.

In small bowl, combine bread crumbs and melted butter; mix well. Sprinkle over top of casserole; bake uncovered an additional 5 min. Let stand 5 min. before serving. Serves 6.

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