- 45 minutes
- 25 minutes
- Boil the pasta gently in salted water till just barely tender. Remove from heat, rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan with the cream cheese; when it’s about half melted, stir in the half & half till smooth. Set aside to cool, then stir the mixture into the pasta.
Brown the ground lamb in a heavy skillet; add the celery and chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add mint and cinnamon and dust lightly with nutmeg and garlic powder. Mix in the diced tomatoes and the red wine. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, while you mix the second cheese sauce.
Melt the butter and cream cheese in another saucepan and stir in the milk. When it’s smooth, add the grated cheddar and remove from heat. Blend the eggs till light and frothy, then whisk them into the cheese mixture and add a pinch of nutmeg. Toast the pine nuts and add them to the cheese mixture with the chopped spinach.
Set oven at 325º and assemble the pastitsio. In a large buttered glass baking dish, arrange a layer of the cheesey pasta, then cover it with the seasoned ground lamb. Cover with the remaining pasta, then spread the second cheese mixture with spinach over the top. Butter the sliced bread and cut it into small cubes; scatter these over the top and dust generously with paprika. Bake for 20 minutes or till hot and lightly browned on top.