Recipe for Greek Pastitsio
If you haven’t tried Greek Pastitsio before, then you are up for a surprise. This delicious pasta dish makes for an ideal winter comfort meal while serving it with a side of mixed green salad dressed with wine vinegar and Greek extra virgin olive oil will bring it to another level.
For the filling
For the Bechamel Sauce
- ¼ c. olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- ¼ c. red wine
- 1 lb. Perciatella pasta (or any long pasta that has ridges or curls for absorbing the sauce)
- 1 ½ c. Kefalotiri cheese, grated*
- ¼ c. butter
- ½ c. flour
- 3 c. whole milk
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 c. Kefalotiri cheese, grated
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, add onions and stir until translucent. Add the meat and cook until fully browned.Add the red wine and reduce it by half. Then, add the tomatoes and let the mixture simmer on low-heat for about 30 minutes. If it get’s too dry, add a small amount of water to loosen it up.
To make the bechamel: Heat the milk in a saucepan over low-heat until it is warm to touch. In a large saucepan melt the butter over low-heat then, working quickly, add the flour and whisk together to make a roux. Whisk for 1 minute to cook the flour slightly. Gradually add the warm milk, stirring constantly so that the mixture stays smooth and everything is fully combined. Keep whisking the sauce until it starts to thicken enough to coat the back of the spoon. Then, remove it from the heat. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and add a small amount of the hot sauce to them and stir to combine. This will temper the eggs so that they don’t cook when added into the hot bechamel. Once the eggs are combined, add ¾ c. of the grated cheese and stir until it is melted and totally incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
Once pasta is cool, toss it with 1 t. olive oil to coat and divide it in half. Spread half of the pasta on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with a layer of the grated cheese and all of the meat mixture. Top meat mixture with the remaining half of pasta.
Pour bechamel over the pasta and sprinkle remaining ¼ c. of grated cheese over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is brown.
Your Pastitsio is ready! Kali Orexi! (Bon Appetit!)
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