Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pastichio - Greek lasagna

At any greek gathering, we always have platters of food and Pastichio is one of those must haves. If you plan large gatherings, this can be made ahead of time and heated up on the day. Some people eat this cold, but that's up to your preference.

The beauty of this dish is that it's something that kids will eat and the grandparents will eat even if they are sensitive to spicy foods.

If you're health conscious, omit the cheese sauce and just use a thick tomato sauce.

Preparation order:

  1. Pasta
  2. mince sauce
  3. cheese sauce
  4. Assemble and then either store in the freezer or bake and then serve.

Preheat oven to moderate 180C.

Pasta layer:
Precook approximately 500 grams pasta strands with a hole. The amount depends on your dish.

Mince sauce:
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
1 can tomato puree or 400 grams home made tomato puree
1 Tablespoon parsely chopped finely
2 Tablespoons mint chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in pan
  2. Add onions and mince. Stir over high heat for 10 minutes or until well browned and all liquid has evapourated.
  3. Add wine, tomatoe puree, herbs, cinnamon, pepper and bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat, simmer, covered for 20 minutes and stir occasionally.
  5. Remove lid and simmer for 10 minutes.


Cheese sauce:
90 grams butter
1/3 cup plain flour 2 cups milk (skim is ok as is soy)
2 eggs lightly beaten (omit this if you're watching your cholesterol)
2/3 cup grated cheese (any cheese is ok, from ricotta to kaseri)

Directions:

  1. Heat butter in small pan, then add flour.
  2. Stir over low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add milk gradually and stir until smooth. Use a whisk or if you have sore hands, get out the electrical beater - or your husband (he he).
  4. Stir the cheese sauce over medium heat 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens.
  5. Cook for 1 minute, remove from heat. That's it if you are not adding eggs and cheese.
  6. Add eggs and cheese.
  7. Beat until smooth.


Assembling:

  1. Place half the pasta on the bottom of the baking dish.
  2. Then add mince layer.
  3. Place remaining pasta in the baking dish but leave room for the sauce. If you haven't added cheese and eggs, the sauce will filter into the pasta layer, but this is still as tasty option.
  4. Place final layer - cheese sauce. Try to leave some room in the dish for the sauce and mince to bubble away as it cooks. Hungry yet?



Here are the left overs from my last attempt.

Kali oreksi

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