Greek Pastitsio Casserole

greek pastitio
I saw this recipe recently on Mel's Kitchen Cafe and was excited to try it. It has been awhile since we had a pasta dish and I LOVE creamy sauces! She adapted it from a Cooking Light recipe so the nutrition info isn't exact, but it still gives a ball-park idea. The kids weren't crazy about the sauce, but Mike and I both really liked it...especially me :-)! (and I totally forgot to add the parsley at the end)

12 ounces penne pasta (I used gluten-free)
1 pound ground turkey or ground sirloin (I used turkey)
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (from about 1 large onion)
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used cornstarch)
8 ounces light cream cheese
2 cups milk, 1% works great
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I used 2%)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Coat a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat the broiler.
In a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water, cook the penne pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add beef or turkey to the pan with the diced onions and 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring to break up the meat into small pieces, until the meat is cooked through. Drain excess grease from the meat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, another minute or so. Sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture, stirring to combine, and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Add the cream cheese in pieces, scattering it over the meat. Let it melt into the meat and stir to combine. Whisk or stir in the milk, nutmeg and tomatoes. Stir to combine well and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook 5-6 minutes until the mixture is slightly thickened and is thoroughly heated through.

Stir in the pasta and spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the pasta and broil for about 3-5 minutes (watching carefully so it doesn’t burn!). Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parsley. Let it stand fora bout 5 minutes before serving.

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups *Calories: 431 *Fat: 15.9g *Protein: 27.8g *Carbohydrate: 41.9g *Cholesterol: 61mg *Sodium: 679mg *Calcium: 289mg