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Greek Pasta Bake

My mom taught me to cook, and I love creating new recipes. I developed this casserole on a cold and snowy afternoon many years ago. Tangy lemon and herbs are complemented by the subtle sweetness of cinnamon. —Carol Stevens, Basye, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 1 hour
  • Makes
    6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground lamb
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups uncooked rigatoni or large tube pasta
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

  • In a large skillet, cook beef and lamb over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the onion, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and thyme. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes longer.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions; drain. Stir into meat mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Cover and bake at 325° for 45 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through.
    Freeze option: Cool unbaked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 325°. Bake casserole as directed, increasing time as necessary to heat through and for a thermometer inserted in center to read 165°.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 316 calories, 12g fat (6g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 840mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 22g protein.

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