On Sunday, I had less cooking to do. In the morning I assembled this recipe to bake for dinner. I used my own ragu (meat sauce) that I always keep in the freezer. We loved it with a salad, and dessert.
3 cups of any meat sauce (or red sauce of your choice)
2 lb. ziti (or penne, or rigatoni, or mostacioli)
1 3/4 c. fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 c. grated parmigiano cheese
1 recipe Bechamel sauce
For Bechamel sauce:
7 T. unsalted butter
6 T. flour
7 c. whole milk
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 cup grated parmigiano cheese
1 t. salt
5 large egg yolks
Melt butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, whisking frequently. Cook until golden (5-6 minutes). Meanwhile, heat milk in another saucepan until just before boiling. Add hot milk to roux in a stream, whisking constantly until very smooth. Bring sauce to boil over medium heat, whisking, then cook for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, cheese and 1 t. salt.
Lightly beat egg yolks in a bowl. Gradually whisk in 2 cups of bechamel, then whisk yolk mixture into remaining bechamel in saucepan. Cover with a round of buttered wax paper.
Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 1 c. bechamel sauce. Arrange 1/3 of pasta in bottom of a large baking dish (all facing the same direction).
Spread with half of warm meat sauce. Arrange a second layer of pasta, and the remaining meat sauce.
Top with third layer of pasta, and spread remaining bechamel sauce over top. Stir together bread crumbs and cheese, and sprinkle evenly over top. Bake until crumbs are golden, and sauce is bubbly, about 45-50 minutes.
*If making ahead of baking time, bring to room temp and bake 50 minutes, or 1 hour if still chilled from fridge.
We all LOVED this. The bechamel with the cheese and egg yolks is delicious. This is much more fun than lasagna, and was delicious!!!
Dessert was Cheddar-crust apple pie and cinnamon ice cream.
Here is our annual "bow picture" (we must wear all ribbons after opening gifts).
And here is this year's Godmother Christmas shot with Casey and my WONDERFUL soon to be new Goddaughter, Sarah!