It will soon be football season. That means I get to cook for our friend Adam, who is a single guy. Adam originally hails from Slovina, where they specialize in pork. A strapping young lad, he stands over 6’ tall and weighs a good 300 pounds. Also, the man could be standing stark naked in front of you and you would swear he wearing a sweater.
Our group of friends plays in a fantasy football league. Yes, even I play in the league. I never win the league, but its fun kicking ass and give the guys shit about it. Every couple weeks during the football season, the whole gang gathers at Adam’s house to watch their favorite teams on his big screen tv and eat until they go into food coma.
Since Adam never cooks for himself, I usually make more than I think the gang will eat so he can have leftovers the next couple of days. This also means that Adam gets to pick the menu.
His wish list usually looks like this:
- Cabbage Rolls
- and the occasional cheesecake
A while back Adam went on the Atkins’ Diet and the list looked like this:
- and the occasional cheesecake made with Splenda
Unless we were out at a bar, where he would drink Michelob Extra Light beer (which is really a bottle of water that someone scribbled “Beer” onto) and eat a ton of pretzels.
Adam is off the Atkins’ diet now, so everything is back to normal.
I hope to expand our menu this year with the introduction of my mom’s “Macaroni Bake”. It’s is really Pastitsio, but since no one could pronounce it, it was renamed so all kids would stop asking what it was.
I think this recipe came from an aunt, who got it off someone in her church…yeah it’s one of those recipes with no real pedigree. This makes a huge roaster full…so only make it if you want to feed an army..or an Adam.
4 T olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
3 pounds of ground beef
1 t cinnamon
4 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 cup white wine
20 oz of tomato puree
12 oz of tomato paste
2 pound elbow macaroni
4 T olive oil
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
12 T butter
1 cup all purpose flour
3 t salt
½ t black pepper
½ t nutmeg
6 cups milk
4 eggs and 2 egg yolks
2 c grated parmesan
Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil, until onions are golden. Add meat, break up with fork and cook over low heat until meat is no longer red. Stir in salt, pepper, cinnamon and wine. Add tomato paste and puree. Cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 30 mins. Remove from heat and allow tocool.
Boil macaroni in salted water until al dente then toss with the oil, and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Butter a large pan (I use a roaster). Place half the prepared macaroni in the pat, then put the meat sauce on top. Cover meat sauce with the remaining macaroni. Place aside while you make the egg/cheese topping.
In a sauce pan over low heat melt the butter. Stir in flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook for several minutes. Gradually stir in all of the milk except for one cup stirring until smooth. Cook over moderate low heat until thickened and boiling. Beat the eggs and yolks and add to the reserved 1 cup of milk and beat to combine. Stir into hot sauce. Over moderate heat, cook and stir constantly until well blended, about one minute. Add parmesan cheese, stir to blend.
Pour cheese/egg sauce over top of layered meat and pasta. Use a spatula to pull the macaroni away from the edges to let the mixture get all the way down around the sides.
Bake at 375 degrees until bubbly hot and the top is browned, about 30 mins. Let stand about 30 more minutes once it is out of the oven before cutting into serving pieces.