Lunch / Dinner
Leave the lasagna layers behind and go Greek with this pasta dish. Olives, lamb, and plenty of feta bring waves of Mediterranean flavor to your casserole lineup. Pastitsio [pah-STEET-see-oh] is a Greek baked dish that resembles lasagna, at least in its list of main ingredients: pasta, ground lamb, tomatoes, and plenty of cheese. But the list of similarities mostly ends there. Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, and a creamy sauce enhanced by cinnamon and feta cheese make for a casserole basking in Greek flavors. There’s no need to carefully layer the elements of this dish — just stir everything together and pour it in the dish. A thick, hollow pasta like rigatoni (or penne, if that’s what you have on hand) catches all the Mediterranean goodness in every compelling bite.
Ground lamb is abundant in Greek cuisine, but you can easily substitute ground beef if it’s easier to find or your flavor preference. And some sprinkled feta on top makes a simple topping that ties the whole thing together.
To bring this dish together even faster, cook the rigatoni a day ahead and chill it overnight. It gets reheated when it's added back into the sauce.
Preheat broiler to high with rack 6–8 inches from element. Coat an 8×8-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
Cook rigatoni in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions; drain.
Add tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in cream cheese until melted, 1–2 minutes; add milk. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook sauce until thickened, 5 minutes. Add rigatoni, olives, and pepperoncini to heat through. Stir in half the feta; season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into prepared dish and sprinkle top with remaining feta.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 63g 96%
Saturated Fat 31g 155%
Cholesterol 195mg 65%
Sodium 1040mg 43%
Carbs 58g 19%
Fiber 2g 8%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.