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Mousakka Pasta
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Categories: Beef, Casseroles, Eggplant Recipes, Favorites, Greek, Meat Dishes, Mediterranean, Pastas
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Total Time: 2 hrs. 20 min.
Baking Time: 1 hrs. 40 min.
Preparation Time: 25 min.
Simmering Time: 15 min.

This untraditional rendition of the Greek classic includes a pasta layer to turn it into a complete meal. Although some of you might balk at putting potatoes and pasta in the same casserole; it actually works because both layers are quite thin when spread out over the 13x9x2 inch pan. Although, this recipe doesn't quite make it as lowfat, it is quite streamlined and and excellent source of vegetables.

For the Vegetables
vegetable cooking spray
2 large eggplants - peeled, cut
lengthwise, and sliced 1/2" thick
1 1/2 pounds zucchini - trimmed and sliced
1/4" thick
1 pound potato - peeled and sliced
1/4" thick
1 pound pasta
For the Meat Sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion - chopped
1 tablespoon garlic - minced
2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can whole tomatoes in juice - (28 ounce)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup bread crumbs
For the White Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
3 small cloves garlic - minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups skim milk
6 tablespoons Neufchatel cheese
3 cups Parmesan cheese - grated
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese - grated

To Bake the Vegetables

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Arrange eggplant slices, zucchini slices, and potato slices flat amongst the two sheets. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until tender (45 minutes). Remove from oven; set aside. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

For the Meat Sauce

In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until onion is tender (8 minutes). Add oregano, cinnamon, and beef. saute until beef has browned (10 minutes). Add tomatoes with their juice and tomato paste. Break up tomatoes with back of spoon. Stir the mixture until well-combined. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly (15 minutes). Stir in half of the breadcrumbs.

For the White Sauce

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Stir in flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a wire whisk until blended; cook 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly. Stir in cream cheese, cook 2 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until it melts. Remove from heat. Add cooked pasta to whites sauce. Stir until pasta is well-coated.

Assembly

Spray a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs over bottom of dish. Arrange potatoes in bottom of dish. Spoon half of meat sauce over potatoes. Arrange eggplant slices over meat sauce. Top with remaining beef mixture. Arrange zucchini slices over meat mixture. Top with pasta-white sauce mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake until top has slightly browned (55 minutes).


Calories: 730 Calories From Fat: 36%
Protein: 40g Carbohydrate: 76g
Cholesterol: 85mg Sodium: 880mg


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