Last week I was in NZ hanging with my family, and showing them pix from our US trip on my iPad. Which resulted in a lot of iPad envy [pic], and the next day my mum [blog] and my aunt Margie [blog] went out and bought iPads. I introduced mum to Zinio, and she immediately headed for the food category and found one of her favourite magazines Saveur. I also bought a subscription and the recipe below is a highlight from their latest Greek issue. The recipe below is Australianised/Australianized from the US version and will serve a large Greek family, or make plenty of leftovers.
FOR THE MEAT SAUCE:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 green capsicum, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
2 medium yellow onions, minced
500g. minced veal, or pork
2 dry-cured chorizo, finely chopped
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup red wine
1/4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Flaked salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
ground nutmeg, to taste
FOR THE BÉCHAMEL AND PASTA:
100g unsalted butter
1 cup flour
4 cups milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
ground nutmeg, to taste
1 packet calabresi pasta or elbow macaroni
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Make the meat sauce: Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add capsicum and onions and cook, stirring often, until soft, 8–10 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a plate, leaving any residual oil in the pan and set aside. Add mince meat and chorizo to pan and cook, breaking meat up into tiny pieces, until browned, 6–8 minutes. Add reserved onion mixture, along with tomatoes, wine, chilli flakes, bay leaves, and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove sauce from heat, discard bay leaves and cinnamon, and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg; let cool.
2. Make the béchamel: Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and slightly toasted, 1–2 minutes. Add milk; cook, whisking often, until sauce coats thickens, 8–10 minutes. Remove from heat, add 3/4 cup cheese and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until smooth; set aside.
3. Heat oven to 180°C. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta and cook halfway through, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining cheese; drain pasta in a colander and then toss to coat evenly with cheese. Set aside.
4. Grease a deep baking dish with olive oil. Place half the pasta mixture on bottom of dish and cover evenly with meat sauce. Top with remaining pasta mixture. Pour béchamel over pasta, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Transfer to wire rack; cool 20 minutes before serving.