The Hippo’s Pastitsio

Now that the cold weather is coming- it’s been sunny and 70 here, which makes me walk around saying, “Global warming?  What global warming?  New England is supposed to be warm in November, right?”- it’s time to think about stick-to-your-ribs food, comfort food, heavy, make it on Sunday eat it until Wednesday food.

Or am I the only one that thinks this way?

For my first heavy food of the season, I attempted The Hippo’s Pastitsio.  It was delicious just the right mix of cream and acid, savory and almost sweet.  The spices made it more than just a regular old baked pasta dish and I used lamb which I don’t often eat.  I felt very Mediterranean.

I won’t re-post the recipe here, for that you should click over to the Hippo’s site.  I will talk about the steps and give you some photos.  Otherwise, this would be a really short, boring post…

Make the tomato sauce.  I must confess that it took me three days to make this recipe, not because it was hard but because I was busy.  So the first day I browned the lamb and onions. The next day I added the tomatoes and spices (I was lacking tomato paste so I added a bit more tomato).  I don’t think the sauce suffered any from the day’s rest it got because I didn’t put together the dish until the day after that.

I made the crema.  It’s a little different from my usual white sauce because it includes eggs which made it more silky and smooth as well as slightly more rich.  In short, yum!

Then I boiled the macaroni and started to put it together.  First, the layer of bread crumbs, which went in onto a buttered pan.

Next, half the pasta, all the meat sauce and half the crema. 

Lots of cheese comes next. I used a mix of mozzarella and parmesan because that’s what I had.

Add the rest of the pasta and then the rest of the crema and top with the cheese.

Bake until it looks like this:

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