This creamy casserole of pasta and meat is the Mediterraneans version of Lasagna. 

I am not going to lie this is a high maintenance recipe. It is not hard, just a bit time consuming. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it makes a ton.

No lie! You could split the recipe in half and freeze the other half. I love to make this on a cold  perhaps rainy weekend. You can take your time and the longer you simmer that meat sauce the better it tastes! It fills you up and tastes great!



For the meat sauce
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1 can crushed tomatoes
For the white sauce
2 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 egg
1/2 cup yogurt
1 pound ditalini pasta


For the meat sauce, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and allow to sweat for about 10 minutes. Add the beef and saute over medium until no longer pink, about 15 minutes. Drain off any excess fat and liquid. Add wine and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon oregano, salt, pepper and thyme and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer stirring occasionally about an hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Heat the half and half in a small saucepan over medium low heat. In a medium saucepan melt butter and add the flour. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly for 1 minute. Pour the warm half and half into the butter mixture. Continue cooking until it begins to thicken about 10 minutes maybe less. Add the nutmeg salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Allow this mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes. stir in the eggs and yogurt.

While your white sauce is cooling cook your noodles according to the package directions until al dente.

Add the pasta to the tomato sauce. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Spread the white sauce evenly to cover the pasta and sprinkle the remaining cheese. Bake for 1 hour until golden brown and bubbly. Allow to set up for 10 minutes before serving.

Peace be with you,