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Playing Sloppy Moussakas


  • 1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • A small handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 ciabatta or other rolls, split and toasted


Serves: 4


In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the lamb or beef and cook, crumbling the meat, until well browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Add the onion, garlic, chili pepper and oregano or marjoram, and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute then stir in the stock and simmer over low heat until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook until thickened slightly; season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the cheese.

To serve, spoon the meat mixture onto the rolls. Top with the cheese sauce.