This is DEE-LISH-US!! First, I'll give you the low-down on the nutrition stuff. It boils down to 7 points for a 1 cup serving.
- 319 Calories
- 11 g Fat
- 4 g Sat. Fat
- 103 mg Chol.
- 512 mg Sodium
- 36 g Carbs
- 3 g Fiber
- 19 g Protien
- 226 mg Calc.
- 3 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 Tbsp. grated Parm. cheese (divided)
- 3/4 tsp. salt (divided)
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper (divided)
- 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 pound spaghetti
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3/4 pound ground sirloin (10% fat or less)
- 1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 7 x 11-inch baking dish with nonstick spray; set aside. (Note: I wait to preheat to save energy. I started preheating when I started cooking the ground beef. I was also using a slightly larger pan: 9 x 12".)
- To make the white sauce, combine the milk, cornstarch, and eggs in a large saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickend, 7-9 minutes. (LIARS! Takes me WAY longer, and on my 1-10 setting on my stovetop, I was on 3. But anyway...) Remove from the heat and stir in 6 Tbsp. of the Parmesan, 1/4 tsp. of the salt, 1/8 tsp. of the pepper, and the nutmeg; cover and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside. (I used more spaghetti because my pan was bigger. You'll see why later.)
- To make the filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil (Note: flourish makes it fancier!), then add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 4-6 minutes. Add the sirloid and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes (I used two cans of diced tomatoes and a pound of beef), garlic (I used jarred garlic), cinnamon, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Cook, stirring often, until liquid from tomatoes evaporates, 4-5 minutes. (Because I upped the amount of tomatoes to compensate for the extra beef and spaghetti, it took a little longer. Worth it, though!)
- Arrange half of the cooked spaghetti on the bottom of the baking pan. (Do this in between stirring your beef to save time.) Top with the filling, then top with the remaining spaghetti. Spread the white sauce evenly over the spaghetti (you'll probably want to stir it again to minimize cheese lumps!). Sprinkle sauce with the remaining 2 Tbsp. cheese. Bake until top is golden, 30-35 minutes. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Wipe chin frequently to prevent drooling all over the table. No one wants to see that!
Okay, so I added that last part. Sue me. This is really fantastic, and even my sometimes-picky eaters like it. It's time consuming, so I have to be sure I don't have a lot going on the day I make it. It's not something you can make ahead and then pop into the oven just because of the white sauce, which I can never really get to thicken a lot in spite of cooking it longer.
A side salad or a loaf of French bread would probably go nicely, even if this is a Greek dish.
Note: I'm going to try to remember to take a picture of the dish when it's done and post that in an update to this post.