- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter
- 1 pound ziti, penne, elbows, or other cut pasta
- 4 tablespoons plain bread crumbs, preferably fresh
- 3 cups milk
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus a little more if desired
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups freshly grated parmesan or hard feta cheese
- 4 cups meat sauce, Bolognese-style (Ragu) or other tomato sauce
- Bring large pot of water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta until it is barely tender, not quite done enough to eat.
- Drain the pasta. Place pasta in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs. Set aside.
- Use 1 tablespoon of the melted butter to grease a large baking pan or casserole.
- In a small saucepan or microwave, heat the milk until small bubbles appear.
- Reheat the remaining butter and stir almost constantly with a wire wisk until the mixture turns golden, about 5 minutes.
- Slowly add the milk, whisking all the while; cook, whisking, until the mixture thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Stir a couple of tablespoons of the hot sauce into the beaten eggs, then a little more. Pour this mixture back into the sauce and stir. Add most of the Parmesan – reserve some for sprinkling – and stir again.
- Put half the pasta in the baking dish; cover with half the tomato sauce and all the cheese sauce. Sprinkle witht e remaining Parmesan or feta and the remaining bread crumbs (another little grating of nutmeg here won't hurt either).
- Bake about 45 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown. Let rest a few minutes before serving.
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