• 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


  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Use 1 tablespoon of the melted butter to grease a large baking pan or casserole.
  5. In a small saucepan or microwave, heat the milk until small bubbles appear.
  6. Reheat the remaining butter and stir almost constantly with a wire wisk until the mixture turns golden, about 5 minutes.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. Bake about 45 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

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