Beef Pie Casserole slices have nice flavor and texture

Mediterranean Beef Pie Casserole (prep time 1 hour, including knife-work.  Served 12)

1 Tb. olive oil

½ lb. ground beef

½ yellow onion, copped

2 cloves garlic, diced

¼ C. diced bell pepper

1 tomato, diced

12 sheets phyllo pastry sheets, thawed

½ C. mascarpone cheese

¼ C. shredded mozzarella cheese

1 Tb. dried basil

2 tsp. dried oregano

salt, pepper

4 Tb. butter

Preheat oven to 375

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the onion, and pepper until starting to soften and add in the garlic.  Stir in the diced tomato, basil and oregano and cook until the tomato begins to break down. Stir in beef and cook until brown. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.  Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.  Unroll the sheets of phyllo and cover with a damp towel.  Re-cover the sheets of phyllo as you go since it dries out very quickly and breaks.  Brush the bottom of a baking dish with butter.  Place two pastry sheets and butter between each until you have a layer of six pastry sheets.  Spread the meat mixture on top and drop spoonfuls on mascarpone cheese in rows on top, covering the meat then sprinkle the top of that with the mozzarella.  Lay a single sheet of phyllo, brush with butter then continue with the two sheets of phyllo, butter, two sheets of phyllo, butter.. until you’ve used the remaining 6 sheets.  Brush the top with butter and sprinkle with more oregano and basil.  To make it easier to serve, cut the casserole into squares, three rows across and three rows up before placing into the oven.  Bake 30-40 minutes until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling.  Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving so the squares’ filling holds together.

Serve with additional sauce on the side and a salad.