Pastitsio, sometimes spelled pastichio, is a Greek baked pasta dish with béchamel sauce and meat.
Ingredients for Pastitsio
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 2 pounds lamp
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 can of tomato puree
- 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp of all-spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 cups of cups parmesan, grated
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper for taste
- 3 Tbsp. of breadcrumbs
- One packet of Macaroni (500g), or Two pounds pack of Penne
- Six egg whites (keep the yolks for the sauce)
- 1/2 cup of butter
Ingredients for the bechamel sauce:
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 quart milk
- 6 egg yolks, beaten lightly
- Pinch of nutmeg
- That is probably a large list of ingredients, isn’t it? I swear it will all be worth it though! You will need a big baking pan, or several smaller ones if you plan to make it in lots.
- Start your preparation with the filling. Heat some oil in a large pan, then add the meat and cook until golden browned for about seven minutes.
- Add the onions and saute for another six minutes until you can see through them. Add tomato puree, wine, all-spice, cinnamon, a little salt, parsley, and pepper, and continue to simmer over low heat for 14 minutes.
- Use this time to boil some water for the pasta, and cook them according to the package—generally, around 8 minutes in boiling water.
- Don’t forget to add salt and a little olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking. When done, rinse under some cold water to cool them and drain in a colander.
- Stir in the breadcrumbs to the meat sauce, then transfer from the heat.
- In the pasta pot you just used, melt half a cup of butter, and return the pasta to the pot. Stir in the beaten egg whites, and add half the parmesan. Blend the mix lightly.
- Prepare your pan for baking by lining the sides with butter or oil. Spread some pasta on the bottom half and pat it down a little until it’s even. Add a slab of meat, and top it off with another layer of pasta, smoothing the top out again.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and ready the bechamel sauce. Before starting, your milk should be somewhat warmed. In a saucepan, melt the butter over a low flame. With a plastic whisk, add the flour in slowly while fluttering to ensure a smooth paste is made.
- Heat for a minute or so but don’t allow it burn in the slightest (even a little brown is terrible). Add the heated milk slowly, and continue whisking all the time. Thicken it up by simmering over a low flame, but do not allow it to boil ultimately.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and add the beaten egg yolks with a pinch of nutmeg. Stir well. When ready, pour over the pasta in the baking dish and spray the remaining half cup of parmesan. Bake for 40 minutes!