You may think that pasta is predominantly Italian in origin.
Well, alright it is.
BUT add an ‘io’ to the end and it becomes GREEK.
I’m a big fan of pasta, and one of my favourite Greek meals is Pastitsio – a baked pasta dish, which includes mince meat and is topped off with bechamel sauce.
Naturally, my mother likes to tweak the recipe to her liking.
So to make Suzi B’s version of Pastitsio you will need:
250g macaroni pasta
1 beaten egg
60g grated strong cheddar cheese
For the meat sauce:
750g minced beef
1 large red onion, chopped
425g tinned tomatoes
1 dessert spoonful of tomato paste or tomato ketchup
1/2 cup (125ml) water
1/4 cup (60ml) dry red wine
1 beef stock cube
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
3 1/2 cups (875ml) milk
1 cup (80g) grated cheddar cheese
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of English mustard
What to do:
- In a large pan, boil water and cook pasta uncovered until tender – drain and set aside. When cool add one beaten egg and half the amount of grated cheese.
- Meat sauce: Boil mince meat in pan until water has completely drained. Add beef stock, tinned tomatoes, red wine, onions, tomatoes, paste, cinammon and oregano. Cook for around 10 minutes until everything has combined. Layer the cooked pasta in an oven proof dish with alternate layers of the meat sauce.
- Topping: Place butter, flour and milk in a large pan on a low heat and continually stir until sauce is smooth. Add mustard and egg yolks and salt and pepper to taste. Pour topping over pasta dish. Place the remainder of the grated cheese on the top.
- Bake uncovered, in moderate oven for about 40 minutes to 1 hour or until topping is golden brown. Stand 10 minutes before serving.
This dish will serve 6-8 people.
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Featured Pastitsio image from the lovely Krystina Kalapothakos at Kouzounas Kitchen – you can find her Pastitsio recipe on her blog here
Photo Credit: Nestor Z Photography