Pastitsio(Greek Style Lasagna ) | Recipe Box

IMG_20160903_113938Now, you might ask, what is that? Pastitsio is similar to the Italian lasagna. The only differences are: Pastitiso is characterized by the distinct cinnamon spice in the meat sauce and the different layering. On the bottom of the tray there is a layer of cheese and pasta, in the middle there is a layer of meat sauce and on the bottom a layer of bechamel sauce!

Yeah, that’s right! Just like you imagine! Is very good and very bad for you! :p

 

Ingredients:

Meat sauce:

250g (1/2lb) ground pork

250g (1/2lb) ground beef sirloin

300g (2 cups) crushed tomato

2 onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 tsp cinnamon

2 bay leaves

2 Tbsp olive oil

100g (3/4 cup) feta cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Bechamel:

1 liter (4 cups) semi-skimmed milk

100g (little less than 1 stick) butter

100g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour

1 egg yolk

50g (1/3 cup) grated parmiggiano reggiano

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Salt, pepper, to taste

 

The remaining:

300g (2 1/3 cup) short cut pasta

50g (1/3 cup) grated parmiggiano reggiano

1 egg white

 

Instructions:

Meat sauce:
1. In a large saucepan, place the olive oil and brown the chopped onion, until soft and translucent. It will take about 5 minutes.

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2. In the meanwhile, boil your pasta! Cook it 2 minutes less, than the package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool down.

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3. Continue with the sauce, add the minced garlic and the ground meats. Break up the mince with a wooden spoon. Cook, until the meat start to develop colour.

4. Add the crushed tomatoes, the cinnamon, the bay leaves, the pepper and add ½ cup of water. Partially cover the pan, turn the heat down to medium low and cook for about 30 minutes. If all the water evaporates, then add another ½ cup.

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5. After the 30 minutes, the sauce should be thicker but not dry. Add the feta cheese, taste and then adjust with salt. Set aside.

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Bechamel Sauce:

6. In a large pot, place the butter to melt over medium heat.

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7. When the butter melts – be careful not to burn it – add the flour and stir until the flour is toasted. For 1 minute.

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8. Pour some milk in and whisk constantly. Once the milk is absorbed, add some more! Continue until the milk finishes; it will take 7-8 times… You have to be patient, and do it slowly, in batches, otherwise the bechamel will end up being lumpy.

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9. Continue stiring the sauce – you do not want it to stick to the bottom! Once you see big bubbles forming, remove the sauce from the heat.

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10. Add the cheese and the spices. When it cools down a little bit add the yolk, and stir very fast, so that it does not cook! Set aside.

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Assembling:

11. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (375 Fahrenheit).
12. In a tray, add the egg white, the cheese and the pasta. Mix very well until the pasta is coated. Spread the pasta evenly on the bottom. Now, you might ask why the egg white… It helps the pasta stick together, so that when you cut a piece it does not fall apart!! Do not skip it. 🙂

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12. Continue with the meat sauce layer. Remove the bay leaves and spread evenly. Finally, top with the bechamel sauce.

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13. Bake for about 45′ minutes or until the top get nice colour.

 

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14. I know it is hard, but you have to let it sit for at least an hour before you cut into it, otherwise it will fall apart.

 

 

IMG_20160831_132203  Serves 6 – 8      

3 thoughts on “Pastitsio(Greek Style Lasagna ) | Recipe Box

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