Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pastitsio

After much review, this is the recipe i make that is closest to what my mom made. It is much better (to me) than other recipes i tried that left me disappointed.
It has more spice and flavor and everything else you want for this dish.  I would never refer to it as "Greek Lasagna", it is not anything like a good Lasagna and like all things Greek, a bit more complicated.

Pastitsio

meat/ pasta mixture
·      2 lbs ground beef (or lamb or a mixture of both)
·      olive oil to coat pan to cook meat and coat baking pan
·      1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
·      1/2 cup white wine
·      3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
·      1 tablespoon oregano
·      1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
·      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·      1/2 teaspoon ground clove
·      salt and pepper to taste
·      1 1/2 cups Kefalotyri cheese (or Locatelli)
·      1 lb #2 pasta (ziti or penne, I prefer penne to even the Greek pastitsio noodle)
·      1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted

béchamel sauce


§       1 cup butter (2 sticks)
melt butter on low heat
§       1 cup flour
whisk in flour till smooth
§       2 cups milk, warmed
add milk and pasta water 
§       2 cups pasta water
whisk until smooth
§       4 eggs, whipped
add clove, allspice and salt
§       1/8 teaspoon ground clove
whisk in egg yolks
§       1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
continue to heat until it just thickens
§       salt to taste


1.   cook, but do not brown the ground beef on a medium heat
2.   add onions and cook an additional five minutes
3.   add wine, 1/2 of the parsley, oregano, allspice, clove, cinnamon, salt and pepper and continue for 10 minutes on LOW heat
4.   cook pasta, remembering to salt the water,
5.   drain the pasta, reserving the water
6.   stir in the cheese, butter and flour to the pasta
7.   add meat mixture to the baking pan coated with olive oil
8.   pour portion of the béchamel sauce to cover the meat and mix
9.   add pasta over the meat mixture
10.         pour remaining béchamel sauce over the mixture
11.         add remaining cheese, 1 tablespoon parsley and a light sprinkle of cinnamon to the top
bake at 350 F for 40 minutes, when the top should be light golden brown