This patstitsio is dinner in a dish, with lamb, feta, and tons of fragrant spices.
- 1 1/4 cups chopped red onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ras-el-hanout
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 cups whole milk, divided
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add lamb; cook until brown, breaking into small pieces, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice, mint, ras-el-hanout, tomato paste, 21/2 teaspoons cumin, and cinnamon. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until lamb mixture is thick, stirring often, 15 to 18 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring 2 cups milk to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until roux is pale golden, whisking often, 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually add warm milk to roux, whisking until sauce is smooth. Whisk 1 cup milk and 3 egg yolks in medium bowl; whisk into sauce. Whisk in feta and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Bring sauce to boil, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until slightly thickened, mashing with potato masher to break up cheese, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm over low heat, whisking often, before using.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter deep 14-cup baking dish. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; return to same pot. Mix 2 tablespoons butter into pasta. Add egg whites and 1/4 cup Parmesan; stir to blend.
Spread 4 cups pasta in dish. Spread lamb mixture over. Top with remaining pasta. Spoon sauce over; sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Place dish on rimmed baking sheet. Bake pastitsio until heated through, about 40 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.