Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Greek Macaroni-Spinach Casserole

The clipping today is from an issue of Good Housekeeping magazine.

 Start with assembling all of your ingredients.  Elbow macaroni, butter, olive oil, ground beef, onion, garlic, salt, allspice, pepper, canned tomatoes, frozen spinach, milk, eggs, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and

 crumbled feta cheese.  I guess this is the "Greek" portion of the recipe.

The first thing you want to do is cook your macaroni, toss it with the melted butter and set it aside.

For the meat sauce, sauté the beef, onion and garlic; then add your spices, tomatoes and water.  While this simmers for about 20 minutes you can begin to assemble your casserole.

Layer half of the macaroni on the bottom of a greased baking dish.  Spread with all of the spinach and the feta on top of that.  Layer the remaining half of the macaroni.
Spoon the meat mixture on top.  Spoon the mixture of milk, eggs and Parmesan over the top of the meat sauce then sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Pop in your preheated oven for about half an hour then let it rest before serving.

My thoughts:  This is not a bad little recipe.  It is definitely a stick-to-your ribs dish.  Serve with a tossed salad it makes a nice meal.  This would also be a good recipe that you could assemble the night before and pop it in the oven when you get home from the office.

If I make it again I would increase the macaroni to 12 ounces.  I used ground tenderloin because that's what I had in the freezer and I think it made it a little greasy.  This recipe would benefit from using a 90% lean ground sirloin.

Here's the recipe

Greek Macaroni-Spinach Casserole
Serves 8 

1 pkg (8 oz) elbow macaroni
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. salad or olive oil
1 lb. ground beef or lamb
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash allspice
Dash pepper
1 can (1 lb) whole tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup water
2 pkg (10 oz-size) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Mise en Place
  • Measure out your macaroni, olive oil, spices, water, feta, & milk
  • Melt butter
  • chop onion
  • peel and crush garlic
  • drain spinach and squeeze dry (get as much liquid out as possible)
  • open your tomatoes and crush with a fork in the can
  • grate Parmesan & measure
  • grind up fresh bread crumbs & measure
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 12" x 8' baking dish.  Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.  toss with melted butter and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, sauté beef, onion and garlic in oil, stirring, over medium heat until meat is browned.  Add salt, allspice, pepper, tomatoes and water.  Bring to boiling; simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Layer half the macaroni on bottom of prepared dish.  Spread with spinach; sprinkle feta over spinach.  Layer with remaining macaroni; spoon meat sauce over the top.

In small bowl, beat together milk, eggs and Parmesan cheese.  Pour over meat sauce.  sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake 30 minutes.  Remove to rack to cool 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

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