Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pastitsio

This recipe comes from Elly Says Opa!

Pastitsio is a Greek version of lasagna and it is delicious.

1 lb. bucatini pasta (I used ziti)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 cup grated myzithra cheese (I used a soft goat cheese)
1 batch Greek meatsauce (recipe follows)
1 batch bechamel sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 cup kefalotyri cheese (I used a hard goat cheese)

Start by making the meatsauce. It needs to simmer for an hour

Greek Meatsauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. ground beef (I used 2 pounds ground lamb)
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
5 or 6 whole cloves (make sure you count how many you use so you can fish them out later)
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, or about 1.5T dried
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper

In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat your olive oil. Add the onions and saute until tender. Add the beef cooking until browned. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute or two before adding the water, cinnamon stick, cloves, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Towards the end of the hour begin boiling the water for the pasta.

Cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of lightly salted water. Drain, and then mix well with the beaten egg, butter, and the soft goat cheese.

While my pasta water was boiling I started the bechamel sauce

Bechamel
6 Tbsp. butter
2/3 cup flour
1 qt. milk (at room temp)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (I didn't find whole nutmeg so I used ground nutmeg)
3/4 cup hard goat cheese, shredded
2 eggs
1 egg yolk

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the flour and make a roux, cooking for a few minutes until golden brown. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly with a whisk to combine well and avoid lumps. Bring the mixture up to just barely a boil. Continue cooking (and stirring) until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add the nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. Take the saucepan off the heat, continue stirring, and add in the cheese, eggs, and egg yolk.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Lightly grease your baking dish, and pour half the pasta mixture into the pan. Layer the entire meatsauce mixture over that, followed by the remaining pasta. Finally, pour the bechamel sauce over the noodles, and spread the mixture evenly.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbly. Let it sit for about 15 minutes or so before slicing into it.





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