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It’s Fall — Let’s Eat!

People who know me, know I have a penchant for fall comfort food. My fiancé will tell you all about how I try to make him ‘fat’ every fall. But I looooooove really great, rich, food that gives you the warm and fuzzies and makes you want to curl up in front of a fire, and enjoy. Give me pasta, or potatoes (or both) and lots of cheese and I am a happy girl! Now, it would pretty rude of me to talk about all this and not share what I am going to be eating this fall. So here we go…I found this recipe and can’t wait to give it a try. Pastitsio is a Greek inspired, baked pasta dish made with penne pasta, lamb (or beef) bolognese and a béchamel sauce.

– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 large onion, diced
– 2 pounds ground lamb (or use half ground beef or ground turkey)
– 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
– 6 cloves garlic, rough chopped, or 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
– 1/2 cup red wine
– 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon ( don’t skimp)
– 2 teaspoons ground cumin
– 2 teaspoons dried oregano ( or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped )
– 1 teaspoon pepper
– 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste

– 3 tablespoons olive oil or butter
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 2 1/2 cups whole milk
– 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
– 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
– 3/4-pound penne pasta
– parmesan for sprinkling
– Garnish: 1 tablespoon fresh thyme


Start the lamb bolognese: heat oil in a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ground meat and salt, breaking up the meat with a metal spatula. Cook 10-12 minutes, stirring often until onions are tender and meat is browned. Drain any fat. Splash with the red wine and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes, then add garlic and cinnamon, cumin, oregano and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and simmer on low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Taste, add more salt if you like.

Preheat oven to 400 F

While this is simmering, boil the pasta water and make the béchamel sauce: Heat the oil in a medium pot, over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the oil into a smooth paste and cook for 60 seconds. Whisk in 1 cup milk until smooth and thickened, then immediately, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk and whisk until smooth and thickened again. Add salt, nutmeg, white pepper and parmesan, and stir until cheese melts and sauce is smooth. Set aside and let cool for 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta and drain.

Once the béchamel has cooled 10 minutes (warm is ok, just not hot), stir in the yogurt and beaten egg.

Assemble: Add the cooked pasta to the Bolognese sauce and mix. Pour into a large, greased baking dish (9×13) or 12-inch oven-proof skillet. Top with the béchamel sauce covering it evenly. Sprinkle with ½ cup more parmesan and scatter with fresh thyme leaves. Bake 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Enjoy!

Don’t Forget!

Please, please don’t forget that Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day! These smaller mid-term elections are often overlooked. Just because there isn’t a lot on the ballot, doesn’t mean that what’s there isn’t important. There is a lot about the future of Pennsylvania on the line next week. If you have questions about the election, or would like to see a sample ballot before you hit the polls, head over to