Lamb pastitsio

Lamb and Mutton SA
6 servings Prep: 15 mins, Cooking: 60 mins
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A flavourful Greek-inspired lamb and pasta dish made with a rich flavourful lamb Bolognese infused with cinnamon, origanum, thyme and mint covered with a bechamel and baked in the oven.

By Independent Contributor April 19 2023
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Ingredients (26)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions — finely chopped
3 garlic cloves — finely minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 kg lamb mince
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup red wine — dry
2 canned tomatoes — crushed
2 stock cubes — lamb or chicken
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 sprigs fresh origanum — or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 tsp black pepper — Freshly ground
Bechamel sauce
7 tbsp butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 cup milk
1/8 nutmeg
1/2 cup pecorino cheese — finely grated
2 egg yolks
400 g macaroni — or penne
2 tsp salt
100 g feta cheese — crumbled
2 egg whites
1/2 cup pecorino cheese — grated
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Prepare the lamb:

Set the Instant Pot on the Sauté function. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is softened.

Add the tomato paste, stir until the paste sticks to the base of the pot (1-2 minutes).

Add the mince, breaking it up into smaller bits and cook until it changes from pink to brown. Season the meat with the salt and let it brown in the pot on the highest setting.

Add the wine and deglaze the pot, loosening all the bits that have stuck to the base of the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock cubes sugar, cinnamon, cloves, origanum and pepper. Bring the sauce to the boil. Secure the lid and move vent up to Sealing Position. Select Meat/Stew function set timer to 30 minutes. Allow manual release for 20 minutes, then carefully turn the Sealing vent down to release any remaining steam. The meat sauce should be thick but
juicy with a little liquid. Transfer the meat from the Instapot to another bowl. Leave the meat to cool to room temperature.

Prepare the bechamel:

Set the Instant Pot on the Sauté function. Add the butter to the Instapot and melt. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute until blended and starts to bubble.

Add the salt and blend with the roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add half the milk and mix until it forms a wet paste. Add the remaining milk and
using a whisk blend the paste and milk. Cook, stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

Stir in the nutmeg and cheese. Leave the sauce to cool for 5 minutes then stir in the egg yolks and blend well.

Prepare the pasta:
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add salt. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions minus 1 minute.

Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan in which it was cooked. Leave to cool for 3 minutes, then stir through the lightly beaten egg whites. Add the crumbled feta and stir through.

Assemble and bake:

Preheat the Instant Vortex Plus VersaZone air Fryer. Select the Bake program and adjust the time setting to 15 minutes.

Use a rectangular baking dish that will fit into the air fryer when using the large single zone (20 cm by 30 cm). Spray the dish with a cooking spray or olive oil.

Place pasta in the baking dish arranging the pasta all in the same direction to create a wow visual effect when serving the dish. Level the layer of pasta.

Top with the meat sauce and smooth the surface. Pour over the bechamel sauce and sprinkle over the cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated air fryer, until the crust is crispy and
golden brown.

Remove the dish from the air fryer and cool for at least 10 minutes so that you can cut neat slices and see each of the layers. Serve with a fresh Greek salad.

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