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Pastitsio (Greek: Παστίτσιο; IPA: [paˈsti.tsi.o]) is a Greek baked pasta dish.

Pastitsio (*)

Pastitsio is a layered baked dish. There are variations but typically the bottom layer is bucatini or other tubular pasta with cheese and egg as a binder; the second layer is ground meat (lamb or beef) with tomato and cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice; the third is another layer of pasta; and the top layer varies from an egg-based custard to a flour-based Béchamel, but usually contains both eggs and flour. Bread crumbs or cheese are sometimes sprinkled on top.

Pastitsio is quite common, and is often served on its own as a main course.

Pastitsio is a version of the Italian pasticcio, a baked pasta dish with many variations, some of which include ragù with a custard or Béchamel topping.[1]

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons stale breadcrumbs to top

Pasta Mix

250g macaroni pasta.
2 eggs whole beaten lightly.
¾ cup grated fresh Parmesan or Feta cheese

Meat Sauce

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 sauce

100g butter.
½ cup plain flour.
3½ cups milk.
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese.
2 egg yolks.

Equipment required

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.
Procedure

It is a good idea to start your meat sauce first as this needs to cool before you can begin construction.
Meat Sauce

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 sauce

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.

Pasta Mix

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.

Construction

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.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Vincenzo Buonassisi gives 41 kinds in Il Nuovo Codice della Pasta (Rizzoli, 1985).

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