Eggplant Pastitsio

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Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: Italian
Serves: 4

Grilled slices of eggplant layered with tomato sauce and penne pasta, baked with a bechamel sauce on top. A warm and comforting meal.

Ingredients

Bechamel:
4 tbsp. butter
1⁄4 cup flour
3 cups milk, scalded
2 eggs
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
Dash ground nutmeg

Tomato Sauce:
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
3-4 cups canned plum tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste

1 lb. penne pasta, cooked al dente
1 med. eggplant, sliced and grilled

Steps

1. Prepare Bechamel: Melt butter in saucepan. Over low heat, whisk in flour; cook 3 min. Whisk in milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 min.

2. In bowl, beat eggs. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of bechamel; whisk egg mixture back into remaining sauce in saucepan until thickened. Whisk in 1 oz. Parmesan and nutmeg; remove from heat and keep warm.

3. Prepare Tomato Sauce: In deep skillet, seat onion and garlic in olive oil. Stir in tomatoes, paste, oregano, cinnamon, and salt and pepper. Cook over med. heat until thickened.

4. In buttered baking dish, spread half the pasta; top with half the eggplant and half the tomato mixture. Repeat layers. Pour bechamel sauce over pasta layers; sprinkle remaining Parmesan on top.

5. Bake in 400°F. oven 40 min. or until set.