Cookbook:Pasta Casserole (Pastitsio)
This recipe has been improved on over the generations. The reason why this is cooked on the stove top & only browned in the oven is that in Greek villages there was a shared village oven. So dishes like these were popular as they could be browned after the bread had been baked.
- 2 Tablespoons stale breadcrumbs to top
- 250g macaroni pasta (or Greek pastitsio noodles).
- 2 eggs whole beaten lightly.
- ¾ cup grated fresh Parmesan or Feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- 2 medium chopped onions.
- 750g minced meat (or make it yourself in a food processor).
- 400–450g canned chopped tomatoes.
- ⅓ cup tomato paste.
- ½ cup water.
- ¼ cup dry white wine.
- 1 tablespoon beef stock powder.
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder.
- 1 egg beaten lightly.
Greek style Bechamel sauceEdit
- 100g butter.
- ½ cup plain flour.
- 3½ cups milk.
- 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese.
- 2 egg yolks.
- 2.5 litre (10 cup) baking dish - metal, glass or ceramic are fine.
- 2 large saucepans for Meat sauce and pasta.
- 1 medium to large saucepan for Bechamel sauce.
To avoid a large clean up at the end just reuse the same saucepan.
It is a good idea to start your meat sauce first as this needs to cool before you can begin construction.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan.
- Sauté 2 chopped onions then,
- Add 750g of minced meat cook until well browned.
- Add 400–450g of chopped canned tomatoes liquid and all.
- Add ⅓ cup tomato paste.
- Add ½ cup water.
- Add ¼ cup wine.
- Add 1 tablespoon beef stock powder.
- Add ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder.
- Simmer uncovered, until it becomes thick in consistency.
- Once thick transfer into a mixing bowl to cool.
- Once cool stir in 1 lightly beaten egg.
Greek Style Bechamel sauceEdit
- Melt 100g butter in pan
- Add ½ cup plain flour
- Stir over heat until bubbling.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Gradually add 3½ cups milk. The mixture will become thick and will then thin again)
- Return pan to heat until sauce bubbles then thickens.
- Stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Transfer to mixing bowl.
- Cool slightly.
- Mix in 2 egg yolks.
- Cook 250 g macaroni pasta as per directions on packet until tender.
- Drain pasta.
- Transfer pasta to mixing bowl
- Mix pasta while hot with
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese and,
- 2 eggs which are lightly beaten.
- Grease baking dish.
- Press pasta mix into base of pan.
- Top pasta mix with the Meat sauce.
- Pour over the Greek style Bechamel Sauce over the meat sauce the smooth the top.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons stale breadcrumbs over the top.
In a preheated oven, bake at 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour until golden brown.
Stand for at least 10 mins before serving.
Leftovers freeze well so it is a great freezer cooking dish.