29 May 2007

Pastitsio




















When in Greece I didn't see this on the menu at any of the restaurants. Maybe I was just in the wrong restaurants! It is a Greek "comfort" food and therefore perhaps made to enjoy at home with your family.. similar to macaroni and cheese or goulash (both of which I make regularly in the winter to comfort myself). There are probably as many recipes as there are cooks, but this is a really enjoyable version. I found it years ago in my Canadian Living magazine May issue. It was all about mothers and their traditional dishes. The best comfort foods are handed down from generation to generation!
This photo was taken in Naxos Town on the island of Naxos in Greece. There were many restaurants along the harbour.


**Pastitsio**

1 lb uncooked bucatini or spaghetti
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

White Sauce

3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups 2% milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
5 tablespoons shredded kasseri or aged white Cheddar cheese, divided
cooking spray
1/4 cup grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese

To prepare filling, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Rinse with cold water, set aside. Cook beef, onion, and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stir to crumble. Add wine, tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, nutmeg, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes or until thick.

Preheat oven to 350F.

To prepare white sauce: Place flour and 1/2 tsp salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; set aside. Combine eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in 1 T kasserri cheese until blended.

Spread 1 cup beef mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of the pasta over beef mixture. Top with 1-1/2 cups beef mixture. Repeat layers with remaining pasta and beef mixture. Top with white sauce. Sprinkle with 4 T kasseri and Romano cheese.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 8

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4 comments:

  1. Yum! I love Pastitsio! I haven't made it in forever!

    Welcome to the Foodie Blogroll!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was ever so kind of you to share; I must give this a try, it sounds wonderful. I haven't had pistitsio since living in Astoria, Queens (huge greek community!) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi valli,

    I tried your white sauce with not much luck, I'm afraid. :( It didn't thicken. By any chance was butter meant to be left out for the white sauce? not sure where it all went wrong :( was it 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites, as well?

    ta pix

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, no worries,Valli! It was my first attempt at white sauce, so that couldbe the main reason it didn't work for me! In the end,I followed recipe from Rick Stein and made Hubby make the sauce! Thanks hun, I will give your wrapped green leaves w/rice(forgot the name) I try and hopefully will suceed. Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete

Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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