Pastitsio (Greek lasagna)
Prep time: About 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 2 hours
Makes: 4 - 6 servings
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 c. chopped yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 t. dried oregano
- 1/4 c. dry red wine
- 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground allspice
- 8 oz. bucatini (or spaghetti)
- 1/4 c. grated cheese (Manchego, Parmesan or Swiss)
- 4 T. butter
- 5 T. all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 c. milk
- 1/2 c. water
- 1 pinch grated nutmeg
- 2 eggs, separated: two yolks and one egg white
- Heat 1 T. olive oil in heavy skillet and fry beef at medium heat 20 minutes until all moisture is gone and beef sizzles.
- Stir in onion and saute 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic.
- Deglaze pan with wine, add bay leaf, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and tomatoes.
- Cover pan and simmer meat sauce 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile boil water and cook pasta 8 minutes until al dente. Drain, cool and mix in 1 T. olive oil.
- While still warm stir in the egg white (whisked), 1/4 cup of meat sauce and 2 T. grated cheese.
- For the bechamel, melt butter in pot at medium heat. Then stir in flour and whisk 2 minutes until smooth.
- Remove from heat and whisk in milk slowly until smooth. Return to heat and whisk continuously 5 minutes until sauce thickens.
- To the whipped egg yolks slowly mix in some bechamel to warm. Then slowly mix yolks, 2 T. cheese and nutmeg into bechamel.
- Oil a 2-quart baking dish and add pasta.
- Carefully spread remaining meat sauce in a layer on top of pasta to make a cover over pasta.
- Carefully spread bechamel sauce over meat sauce.
- Bake 25 minutes in 375 deg. F. oven, then turn down to 350 deg. F. and bake another 25 minutes or until top is brown.
- Let pastitsio cool for an hour before cutting into portions and serving.
Based on a recipe from the Internet by Christine Cushin.
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